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Showing posts from December, 2022

HELLO, 2023

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Paul Rode, Brenda Reading (oil on board, circa 1985) During 2021 and 2022, serving on two Canadian poetry awards committees, I was stirred in wide-ranging ways by more books and individual poems than could be encompassed by lists long or short.  I'm grateful for this wealth of poetry, which is enormous.  Some of those poems will show up here in the coming year. To close out 2022, here's  "Current" by Gillian Sze . Look for our conversation about this poem coming up in January.

GILLIAN SZE: A POEM

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Gillian Sze CURRENT And you are ever again the wave sweeping through all things.  --Rilke (II.3) In a single gust, it seems,  the leaves yellow and one evening, I find the maple bare, the last of summer burnished. The trees know no vanity. I walk around a manmade lake  and tell my son that the birch kept growing just to meet him. Pay attention, the boughs sigh. It is against trees that I measure the dawning of his life as an arc of a single ring. An ocean over,  a mulberry tree stands in the same spot as it did twelve hundred years ago, for the most part ignored until everything around it was replaced with stones and gods, and someone ran a hand over its surface, recognized patience, vast and slow. Somewhere, as it's done each fall, a moose rubs its antlers among the trees, branch against branch. My son wonders up  at the new starkness of the maple, the exposed scaffolding of autumn. You lift a fallen prong of bones and begin to work, naming and renaming  each leafless thing. Gilli