Tuesday, February 4, 2014

bad haiku anthem for the first monday in february

it's yesterday's news,
but many different rodents
have predicted an

early spring--or an
elongated winter. that
defines everything

we know: every
option is correct, whether
we account for the

relative or the
bias or the bluster or
the sane or the sound

or reality
or not. take your pick. claim your
truth, and whatever

you do, don't ever
back down. in the classroom, we
looked at poetry--

by the look of it,
a mistake, since frost filtered
through the twenty-first

century is first
and foremost no longer frost,
is instead a man

who writes about a
prettynatureworld...roethke
about child abuse...

kumin about the
jews...dunn about stupid love
stuff...and shakespeare--well

who cares? well enough
he's dead.  yes, there are bigger
issues than the lack

of the subtlety
required to appreciate
subtlety, but the

loss of the art of
appreciation, even
that--especially

that--which differs from
the soundtracks in our own heads
troubled me today

more than any day
before.  maybe it's the snow,
my cabin fever

or my always-cold
hands, or the way the snow does
not cooperate,

not in the way that
collins wrote, anarchic--and
there's a cause i can

embrace, a winter
that topples hierarchy
no longer useful.

the uses of snow
should be these:  snow storms, snow days,
snow cover, snow play,

snow brightened by sun
to lift a winter shadow,
to fool the rodents

who emerge to give
singular yet conflicting
versions of the truth.

reclaim the snowflake!
that is what we should do, rise
up with our shovels

and parkas and our
travel coffee cylinders
and take back the snow!

take back the flakes and
their beautiful forms, take back
the winter and call

it true: winter is
cold (here), and poetry means
more (and less) than the

sum of the only
vocal filter, and snowflakes
are crystals fused with

science, and (with a
little luck) we can take back
relativity

(and all related
guises) and show--maybe, just
maybe--that what once

emerges from one
hole once per year--that rodent--
is just a rodent.

7 comments :

  1. I think we can have two POWs. Most weeks, it's the same ol' same ol' but today, two beautiful pieces. Thank you, Greta. Thank you, R&orG. Thank you.

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  2. "predicted an

    early spring--or an
    elongated winter.'

    That's it! Schrodinger's Groundhog! Why didn't I see that before?

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  3. Yes. Brava, ma'am. Brava.

    (If it makes you feel any better, I took 25 minutes to go through Shelley's "Mont Blanc" today, and I still felt like I was shouting into an abyss. You're not alone, and I've picked up my shovel for Keats on Thursday.)

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  4. I especially like the turn:

    yes, there are bigger
    issues than the lack

    of the subtlety
    required to appreciate
    subtlety, but the

    loss of the art of
    appreciation, even
    that--especially

    that--which differs from
    the soundtracks in our own heads
    troubled me today

    more than any day
    before.


    Yes, it matters. Reading carefully means, among other things, paying attention to someone else -- hir ideas, hir ways of expressing them, what all that adds up to. I'm not sure that reading literature carefully will cure our increasing isolation (and I certainly don't like the idea of literature-reading as prescription for what ails us, even if I think it could help cure what ails us), but the fact that we're increasingly unwilling, even unable, to do it is, I think, a serious symptom.

    And I like the call to arms at the end, especially since it involves reclaiming the snowflakes, and their beauty (even while recognizing that they are, indeed, snowflakes, and not a joy to deal with in every way). A very hard job, but it's our job.

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  5. Now I can't help but read this as a beautiful swan song to the page. Thank you, Greta.

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