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Desire by Molly Peacock

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by

Beth Burford

on 28 March 2013

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Transcript of Desire by Molly Peacock


It doesn't speak and it isn't schooled,
like a small foetal animal with wettened fur.
It is the blind instinct for life unruled,
visceral frankincense and animal myrrh.
It is what babies bring to kings,
an eyes-shut, ears-shut medicine of the heart
that smells and touches endings and beginnings
without the details of time's experienced part-
fit-into-part-fit-into-part. Like a paw,
it is blunt; like a pet who knows you
and nudges your knee with its snout—but more raw
and blinder and younger and more divine, too,
than the tamed wild—it's the drive for what is real,
deeper than the brain's detail: the drive to feel. DESIRE by Molly Peacock Published in 2002, when the United States was going through the shock of 9/11. Although much was happening in the world at the time, Peacock's poem is not related or directly influenced by the events of the time. Desire cannot be taught Desire is instinctual, you don't have to think about it for it to happen, desire wants to be free and untamed (let it happen!) Foetal is another way to say "fetal", as in "fetus", meaning that desire is innocent and even naive, but natural. Visceral means to relate to inner feelings rather than intellect One of the three gifts given to baby Jesus by the Wise Men. Frankincense is used in perfumes and incense. The rising smoke symbolizes prayer to the heavens. Myyrh is an aromatic resin (liquid from plants) that is medicinal. Egyptians used myrrh in the mummification of humans and animals. It symbolizes death in its use in burials. I was born in Buffalo, NY in 1947 and now live in Toronto. A writer of prose, editor of anthology, and a teacher, I have written several collections of poetry. Therefore, visceral frankincense is like desire in that it is like an anointing oil and a gift when acted on. Babies fulfill the throne and continue an important aspect of a king's life. Desire is satisfying and can complete your life, and desire is what drives your life. Although desire is instinctual, it's beautiful and sweet, even foolish if followed blindly because it can get you into trouble. What's the main idea/thesis?!
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