Monday, February 18, 2008

Duke Altum's POTM #60

Ha - did anyone notice the subtle change in the title of this series there?? Since I don't seem to be able to keep up with this blog as regularly as I'd like to, calling this series of occasional great poems the "Poem of the Week" series seems just a trifle, well, optimistic. So, just like that, is has now been officially re-named the Poem of the Month series! See how easy that was! But the same great, albeit sporatic, content will continue... so keep on tuning in!

This month is a beautiful poem - well, honestly, more of a prayer than poem - from Franz Wright... a Lenten poet if there ever was one! (Wright's poetry often deals with repentence, salvation, grace unearned, delivery from or contention with spiritual and emotional suffering, etc.) The last eight lines alone are well worth the price of admission (i.e. reading this blather first!), and I appreciate them a lot personally as they articulate a prayer I have sometimes uttered in my own heart, but of course lacked the words to articulate as well. Amazing stuff.


Cloudless Snowfall

Great big flakes like white ashes
at nightfall descending
abruptly everywhere
and vanishing
in this hand like the host
on somebody's put-out tongue, she
turns the crucifix over
to me, still warm
from her touch two years later
and thank you,
I say all alone—
vast whisp-whisp of wingbeats
awakens me and I look up
at a minute-long string of black geese
following low past the moon the white
course of the snow-covered river and
by the way thank You for
keeping Your face hidden, I
can hardly bear the beauty of this world.


Cathy said...

I have never been a poetry seeker (except for hymns), much to my detriment I'm sure, so I appreciate a great one being brought to my attention. Love those last three lines especially!
Cathy Mersereau

Mutt Ploughman said...

Cathy, thanks for your comments, "Duke" will be excited that someone actually read one of his posts other than me! He really goes out of his way to find very interesting poems, this is a typical example. And usually they are brief, they don't take much time to read, but they almost always strike you in some way.

Duke, great Lenten selection!!!!