Express Train, Rolf Jacobsen
I often find—paradoxically, perhaps—that traveling by express train slows down my inner voice. The countryside, the view of people going about (roughly) their same business, reminds me of the daily occupations we share. Each village, each farm, is also self-contained—each an emotional world with its own texture, voice, and narrative. Rolf Jacobsen chooses to focus here on the loneliness of those whom he sees in his mind’s eye, those hardened by love they cannot give or receive. The observation is haunting. For the poet too is unseen by the villagers, and sits in the loneliness of his own heart. The train is almost on time—an accurate measure of only the superficial journey. What flame, what force, what light might erupt if we all got off the train and released the loneliness of all our hearts?
Todd Breyfogle, Denver, Colorado