Poetry: "Dolor"

I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils,
Neat in their boxes, dolor of pad and paper-weight,
All the misery of manila folders and mucilage,
Desolation in immaculate public places,
Lonely reception room, lavatory, switchboard,
The unalterable pathos of basin and pitcher,
Ritual of multigraph, paper-clip, comma,
Endless duplication of lives and objects.
And I have seen dust from the walls of institutions,
Finer than flour, alive, more dangerous than silica,
Sift, almost invisible, through long afternoons of tedium,
Dropping a fine film on nails and delicate eyebrows,
Glazing the pale hair, the duplicate grey standard faces.

— Theodore Roethke

This poem caught my eye because a Roethke quote figured prominently in the plot of a movie I just saw last night called Kissing Jessica Stein. A very cute and ultimately sweet movie, not so much about lesbianism but about friendship and being true to who you are. Not exactly in line with my Xtian moral beliefs, but I enjoyed the endearing message that poked out past the tittilating plot.

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