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Showing posts from October, 2019

STRIPPED DOWN MOON VIEWING: DONLAN READS LARKIN

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Sad Steps Philip Larkin Groping back to bed after a piss I part thick curtains, and am startled by The rapid clouds, the moon’s cleanliness. Four o’clock: wedge-shadowed gardens lie Under a cavernous, a wind-picked sky. There’s something laughable about this, The way the moon dashes through clouds that blow Loosely as cannon-smoke to stand apart (Stone-coloured light sharpening the roofs below) High and preposterous and separate – Lozenge of love!   Medallion of art! O wolves of memory! Immensements!   No, One shivers slightly, looking up there. The hardness and the brightness and the plain Far-reaching singleness of that wide stare Is a reminder of the strength and pain Of being young; that it can’t come again But is for others undiminished somewhere. Larkin's title refers to Sir Philip Sidney’s sonnet from “Astrophil and Stella”, beginning   “With how sad steps, O Moone, thou climb’st the skies”, in which the moon is p

WHAT TO SAY FROM OUR LUSH LIFE: TWO POEMS BY JOHN DONLAN

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South Frontenac South Frontenac’s muggy nights in June are thick with sex and death; on Highway 38 teenagers race the black future beyond their cars’ twin antennae of light where frog-dotted asphalt slices the marsh and the dark pulses with ephemerae whose day this is to fly and mate and die; exoskeletons tick against the glass that curves to shield these children covertly glancing by dash light at faces, bodies who never again will feel so much as now and we cooler at heart half-remembering, dream them safe to bed. Sunday morning in the wrecker’s yard a chipping sparrow picks bugs off the grill of a Dodge Ram 1500 truck. (August 1, 2008) Whirligig End of July, trees call it a season shut down their green workshops and let them rust. Bumper cars in water dimples, whirligig beetles zoom and carom, rippling moonlight. Perseids sing their fire songs as they streak our black stadium, burning up into atoms of atmosphere. Crickets begin, and a thousand in

MADHUR ANAND: POETRY & COLLISION

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SUSAN GILLIS: How did poetry come to you? You've written eloquently about some of your early experiences with poetry; are there other aspects of beginning you could talk about? MADHUR ANAND: I've written for TNQ and Poetry in Voice about the conscious beginnings—the first poem I recall being asked to read, or the circumstances of my life when I started writing poems, that I was already a practising scientist. I will use this space to acknowledge unconscious ones, as well as the fact that there are a multitude of them. How far back should I go? How many parallel existences and identities could have started this trajectory towards poetry? Should the things I remember be weighted more than the things I don't remember? That seems unfair. There is a lot I don't remember. Let me just pick out quickly the first couple of things that come to mind of, say, my grade school experience, Grades JK (where I locate my very first memory) to 6. My memories are often reduce