Sunday, November 16, 2014

My small brother

Today a wigeon in the snow!


The slippery green frog
that went to his death
in the heron's pink throat
was my small brother,

and the heron
with the white plumes
like a crown on his head
who is washing now his great sword-beak
in the shining pond
is my tall thin brother

My heart dresses in black
and dances.

Mary Oliver
Blue Horses, Penguin, 2014, Kindle location 74

Of course I am thinking about brothers, since two of mine are visiting. We watched a few hours of just-digitized 8mm films of our 1935-1945 childhoods. R just flew back to Colombia, where he lives, D will be here another day. I like this poem very much and agree with everything (and find it simply, but clearly expressed) except the last line, which I think is too easy. I remember that one of my haiku gurus used to say that some poems were "common thought haiku" meaning that the thought or the phrasing sounded as if you had already heard them several times before, perhaps in slightly other guises. A dancing resolution is too simple a resolution to such a major issue.

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