Friday, August 5, 2011

My Poetry Year: Entry #59

In which Your Humble Blogger seeks out warmth on a cold winter night:


Late at night, while others slept,
The first snow fell. Late at night, we whispered
Inside each other while the blanket
Muted our limbs, until the lamplight
Faded into the glow of our breath
And even we no longer shivered.

A pity that the morning came
To push the bedsheets aside.
We had been lying so still
For two people in so changed a world.

* * *

Oh, my imagination, taking the idea of friendly roommates and running it into Harlequin Romance territory.

Actually, it wasn't so much the realm of tawdry romance that I was letting my mind run around in at the time as it was the realm of Yehuda Amichai's poetry. I first heard his poem "Letter of Recommendation" read aloud by Edward Hirsch, who himself is a noted poet. Even though I knew that what I was hearing had been translated from Hebrew, I was immediately struck by what it was accomplishing in English as well. The language was simple and unadorned, but it radiated in a way that lots of modern poetry, especially from the States, doesn't. It was full of warmth. That warmth was something I wanted in my poetry as well. And what better way to shake off the cold than to dive under the blankets? >:)

(One quip with this poem: When I write out poems by hand, I can make each line as long or short as I want to, in terms of how it looks on the page, by adjusting my handwriting. This means that I can make a poem take a pretty shape. But when I type them out.... "Whispered" is without doubt the right word for the end of the second line, but I hate how it sticks out like that! It's as if Line Two is sticking its tongue out at me, daring me to change it.)

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