Our celebration of national poetry month continues with Christel Tompson reading her poem, “Aubade.” Christel Thompson is a writer and student currently pursuing a Bachelor of Liberal Arts at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Watch her reading on our Instagram account and read her reflections below:
When I wrote “Aubade”, I set out to put something on the page that was purely honest– I think that poets have the tendency to embellish, to make “more beautiful”, and lose transparency along the way. This is why I chose to meditate on the clarity of sleep, the in-between spaces that come before and after waking— there is no room in those moments for even a whisper of dishonesty. How can there be? There’s no pretending when you’re asleep.
In traditional aubades, the dawn brings with it a physical parting with a lover. But in the realm my poet inhabits, it’s not leaving that the speaker fears, but rather, the dishonesty that morning will bring– the cowardice. The quiet comfort of night, of slumber, is what brings these two lovers an authentic existence.