by William Bronk
My life has no shape; I live in an old house.
The deed says it's mine now. Well enough.
Even so, I had supposed--or not,
I find I don't know but I thought I supposed--
some shape would happen to impose itself
on the days, the nights, even on this house,
revealing it. I find I don't care
this didn't happen, and yet am surprised.
I haven't read enough Bronk to really know how to read this...this is a poet who had written poetry for 50 years and written prose that will stand alongside this. He ran his family's business.
The man's life had shape--some kind of shape. Did the poet's?--again it appears so.
Or is this a question of a shaping presence outside the self--expected, but in the end illusory. I thought, at the end of my life, that I would impose a shape on it by defining it a certain way "at this moment of thinking about it".
It is called, pointedly one supposes, The Revelation, it would be hard to not consider the fact that this is the final book of the New Testament. And so this in itself brings the religious to bear on the poem--I thought that God would come to me. That this life, these memories, would be given shape in reflection--a godly, goodly shape. A meaning. That this shape would be imposed and revealed. But no.
Odd to expect it? No, I think we're hard-wired to imagine this or at least culturally conditioned to think it plausible even if we are anti-theist.