An Interlude for a Poem: A Gift for Introverts, Misanthropes and Other People Who Don’t Want to Work the Room

Because Corporate Canada needs more poetry…

cbw-the art of disappearing2

I wrote a Strategy Session on networking for introverts for Alberta Venture this month. You might have seen it… I know it struck a chord, because so many of you have sent me “Thank you for validating me!” notes. And others have sent, “But, but, but… guilt, pressure, people.”

Here. Copy this out on a piece on paper, and stick it in your pocket. That’s what Bill Moyers does.

The Art of Disappearing

By Naomi Shihab Nye

When they say Don’t I know you?
say no.

When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
before answering.

Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.

If they say We should get together
say Why?

It’s not that you don’t love them anymore.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.

Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.

Why the poem? Because, stark January days. Scary headlines. Corporate Canada needs more poetry. You’re welcome. MC