John Keats‘ “This living hand…” is one of the awesomest little poems ever. It’s so wonderful and so creepy! The speaker’s hand, if it were dead, would “So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights / That thou would wish thy own heart dry of blood / So that in my veins red life might stream again.” And that final gesture, Keats’ no, here it is, alive, “I hold it towards you” — ooh! Shivers. I will be bringing this poem up again come Halloween. This poem is genuinely haunting — the message is first that you’ll miss me, then that I’ll haunt you, then that you’ll want to die to resurrect me, but no no no don’t worry, here’s my hand (that will haunt you!).
Charles Simic has a memorable poem called “Bestiary for the Fingers of My Right Hand,” a poem that describes each finger in turn, images going from Gerhard Gluck-y to Odilon Redon-y (the creepy paintings, not the flower-in-a-vase ones) to Hieronymous Bosch-y. Continue reading