Monday, July 14, 2014

Leaf Art

Samantha and Logan make leaf umbrellas while sisters are in dance class.

Right now we are still getting ready to leave on the long drive East, and are waiting now for hearing aid repair. There is so much to read in a Threepenny Review (in addition to the group of excellent graphics in each issue) that I tend to leave them behind when we travel or carry them around with me looking for time and space to unfold the tabloid format. Thus I discover that I have yet to read the Fall, 2013 issue, which I left here last year. Here is a two-part poem in this issue by Wendell Berry, that lovely man. Here is Part I, Part II will be in tomorrow's post.

From Sabbaths 2013

This is a poet of the river lands,
a lowdown man of the deepest
depth of the valley, where gravity gathers
the waters, the poisons, the trash,
where light comes late and leaves early.

From the window of his small room
the lowdown poet looks out. He watches
the river for ripples, flashes, signs
of beings rising in the undersurface dark,
or lightly swimming upon the flow,
or, for a minnow, descending the deeps
of the air to enter and shatter
forever their momentary reflections,
for the river is a place passing
through a passing place.

The poet, his window. and his poems
are creatures of the shore that the river
gnaws, dissolves, and carries away.
He is a tree of a sort, rooted
in the dark, aspiring to the light,
dependent on both. His poems
are leavings, sheddings. gathered
from the light, as it has come,
and offered to the dark, which he believes
must shine with sight,
with light, dark only to him.

Wendell Berry. 
from The Threepenny Review, Fall, 2013, page 5.

The line "of beings rising in the undersurface dark" has, (in addition to one of my favorites, a compounded word) it seems to be, an almost perfect and very pleasing rhythm.

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