118: Migraine: Aura and Aftermath
U s poet laureate, Tracy case Smith, and this is the slowdown. I know people who suffer from my grains, with their tails of agonizing pain and whole days, sometimes more surrendered to a dark room, they form a strange association, and it may be strange, but I'm fascinated by the way, they stand their hands up before them pushing the word and the very concept of migraine away. Just as there is a tragic heroism to the terrible hunted quality, they wear knowing this thing this awful state will return to them at some point. Talking to people for whom migraines are reality. I tend to forget the season from my own life when I suffered them on a regular basis. I was a kid my eyesight had just suddenly worsened, but I still wasn't wearing glasses. I remember learning to squint at the chalkboard to bring the teachers writing into focus. I'd spend all day doing that. And by the time, I got home on the school bus, a woozy nausea, would grip me at home. I'd eat a few crackers waiting for the nose bleed and the piercings insane behind one of my eyes. Once that hit. Well, that was it. I'd go lie down in my room curtains drawn shot and wake up hours later feeling like shipwrecked stranger who's finally been washed ashore, if all that counts. Then. Yes, I once knew what am I green feels like though pain from so long ago is difficult to remember more vivid is the sense of relief of gratitude of finding myself restored of reveling in the absence of pain, which after intense pain is itself, an exquisite pleasure. Today's poem is migraine aura and aftermath by late Pulitzer prize winning poet, Claudia Emerson it slowly tracks the feeling of the headaches onset, and the distortions it triggers in some ways, the poem shows me these effects as a fascinating perceptual phenomenon things that were just there that surely still are there suddenly disappear the physical sensations set in and then perhaps worst of all the fear arrives. As though the altered physical state might be an actual place. There's no coming back from I love the way. This poem alerts need to the mysteries of body and mind and how even in disturbance. Emerson finds a source of revelation. Migraine aura and aftermath by Claudia. Emerson first part of the world disappears. Something is missing from everything the cats. I e e RT the left side of its face two fingers from my right hand the words from the end of a sentence. The absence is at first more absolute than whatever darkness. I imagine the blind perceive perfect without color or motion nothing replaces what is gone. The senses do not contradict. My arm goes numb my leg. Though. I have felt the cold air of this disappearance before each time. The aura deceives me to believe reality itself has failed. I fear this more than what it warns because I cannot remember I will survive it. The other half of me will shine all night defined by the eclipse, then in the relieved wake of the day that follows it. I will find my hand count my fingers and beginning to see again will recognize myself restored to the evening of a righted room. The slowdown is a production of American public media in partnership with the library of congress and the poetry foundation.