Wednesday, June 27, 2007

These Days

Charles Wright is one of America's finest and my favorite poets. Here's an excerpt from a poem entitled Body and Soul II:

These days, I look at things, not through them,
And sit down low, as far away from the sky as I can get.
The reef of the weeping cherry flourishes coral,
The neighbor's back porch light bulbs glow like anemones.
Squid-eyed Venus floats forth overhead.
This is the half hour, half-light, half-dark,
when everything starts to shine out,
And aphorisms skulk in the trees,
Their wings folded, their heads bowed.

You can find a brilliant excerpt from a more recent, book-length poem, Littlefoot at Poetry Daily, and another here.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Clerks of Time

I'm posting another poem by E. A. Robinson because...well, because I feel like it.

The Clerks

I did not think that I should find them there
When I came back again; but there they stood,
As in the days they dreamed of when young blood
Was in their cheeks and women called them fair.
But sure they met me with an ancient air,—
And yes, there was a shop-worn brotherhood
About them; but the men were just as good,
And just as human as they ever were.

And you that ache so much to be sublime,
And you that feed yourselves with your descent,
What comes of all your visions and your fears?—
Poets and kings are but the clerks of Time,
Tiering the same dull webs of discontent,
Clipping the same sad alnage of the years.

alnage—"Official inspection and measurement of woollen cloth, and attestation of its value by the affixing of a leaden seal." (OED)

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wind, Revised

Thanks as usual to helpful comments from Naomi, I present the revised and presumably final version of my latest poem:

In the Wind

I step outside
to wait for the bus
in the sharp wind.
I am still
drowsy thinking
of something I want
to say to you
but you of course
are not here
so I whisper it
to the wind
that draws back
for a moment listening
eagerly though it
has heard it before.

May 23, 2007/rev. June 12, 2007

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