“Recognition,” by Kate Clanchy

Great poem.
Listen to it.

And buy random poetry anthologies to find poems like this one.

Belly up, it's A Poetry Feed.

This one could be a girl I know but somehow younger.

Something like this has happened to me every time I’ve traveled or moved someplace totally new:  I’m in a library, train, pub, museum–some crowd–and every person in my periphery is someone I know. For a split second. Until I look. Which I can’t help doing over and over.  Sometimes I’ve made other people look too, my swivel-head has been so pronounced.

Is there a language from which we could steal a word, schadenfreude-style, deja vu-style, for this reflex?  Or for the frisson of disappointment and nostalgia that comes right after, when you realize you’re still among strangers? (Frisson? Nostalgia?  Not quite it.)

Anyway, I like “Recognition” because it means I’m not the only one.

It’s in Kate Clanchy’s book, Slattern (Picador, 2001).

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