05 October 2010

In celebration of autumn

Our summer poetry project was a resounding success, yes? How do I measure success, you ask? Simple: I enjoyed. That poem also led me down a path of reading William Stafford's work, and it has become a tertiary mission of this blog to keep his work in front of you. With that, I think another poem is in order. This poem, slightly longer than our summer one (because we have time to sit in front of the fire and read) comments on the seasons changing around us, and as an added bonus mentions Montana, the ultimate imprimatur of good poetry. Memorize so that you know the secret Going40 code for autumn (and how cool to have two Stafford poems at your disposal. You'll be a hit at odd parties.).

Over in Montana

Winter stops by for a visit each year.
Dead leaves cluster around. They know what is
coming. They listen to some silent song.

At a bend in the Missouri, up where

it's clear, teal and mallards lower
their wings and come gliding in.

A cottonwood grove gets ready. Limbs

reach out. They touch and shiver.
These nights are going to get cold.

Stars will sharpen and glitter. They make

their strange signs in a rigid pattern
above hollow trees and burrows and houses--

The great story weaves closer and closer, millions of

touches, wide spaces lying out in the open,
huddles of brush and grass, all the little lives.

from Who Are You Really, Wanderer? (1993)

1 comment:

  1. When you are ready, I have your winter poem (or late autumn, at least) ready to go. No rush. Let's hang on to this unseasonable warmth as long as possible.


As always, civility reigns, but cleverness trumps.

They shall be called my disciples.