FRIDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: TODD BOSS


THE ENDING IS IN THE BEGINNING
by Todd Boss

of this first movement of Suite
No. 3 in C major for solo

cello by Bach.
It’s lovely and sad, how it

knows itself, knows its own
closing as it opens. Sad,

and also exhilarating,
how every moment of it

seems part of the ending,
how halfway through, you

get the feeling the ending
has long ago begun

so that as you’re listening you
hear the work end, then end

again—then end another way
and another—then find

a new kind of ending and add
an ending to that ending that

seems to end things once
and for all—then fall

into what can only be the end
of endings. And you know it

when it comes, that final
finale. It comes about

like a hunger, like a thirst,
and it leaves no doubt.

You knew what to listen for
all along, as it turns out.

(“The Ending is in the Beginning” is reprinted here today with permission from the poet.)
Todd Boss Todd Boss’s debut poetry collection, Yellowrocket (Norton, 2008) enjoyed widespread critical and popular acclaim. It was selected as the 2009 Midwest Booksellers Honor Book for Poetry. Todd’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Best American Poetry, and Virginia Quarterly Review, which awarded him the Emily Clark Balch Prize in 2009. His work has been syndicated on NPR and in Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry column. His MFA is from the University of Alaska-Anchorage.

Editor’s Note:I’m dedicating this post to anyone who secretly prefers endings to beginnings and those who openly prefer cello to the french horn.

Want to read more by and about Todd Boss?
ToddBossPoet
Utne Reader
The Poetry Foundation

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One Response to FRIDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: TODD BOSS

  1. Sivan Butler-Rotholz says:

    Favorite moments: “It’s lovely and sad, how it knows itself, knows its own closing as it opens,” and “You knew what to listen for all along, as it turns out.” Ah, a poem about life in the guise of a poem about music! This very much reminds me of when my guitar teacher was teaching me how to construct and write songs – how to use certain chords for sadness, how to manipulate the listener’s emotions with the music. Wonderful! SO GLAD TO HAVE YOU BACK!!!

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