Sunday, January 13, 2013

Your Sunday Poem

For a frosty morning in a time of crazy weather.  For thinking about living in the future we have made with our own busy hands, a catastrophe we are already starting to swim in.  This by Phillis Levin, from "Poetry 180, A Turning Back to Poetry," Selected and edited by Billy Collins.

The Blizzard

Now that the worst is over, they predict
Something messy and difficult, though not
Life-threatening.  Clearly we needed

To stock up on water and candles, making
Tureens of soup and things that keep
When electricity fails and phone lines fall.

Igloos rise on air conditioners, gargoyles
Fly and icicles shatter.  Frozen runways,
Lines in Markets, and paralyzed avenues

Verify every fear.  But there is warmth
In this sudden desire to sleep,
To surrender to our common condition

With joy, watching hours of news
Devoted to weather.  People finally stop
To Talk to each other -- the neighbors

We didn't know were always here.
Today they are ready for business,
Armed with a new vocabulary,

Casting their saga in phrases as severe
As last night's snow: damage assessment,
Evacuation, emergency management.

The shift of the wind matters again,
And we are so simple, so happy to hear
The scrape of a shovel next door.


Churadogs said...

Testing comments This is a test only.

Sewertoons AKA Lynette Tornatzky said...

Perfect words to describe the feeling! Great pick for today!

Alon Perlman said...

I was looking for more on Levin,
Partly because I was interested
In the mechanics of metering

And it jarred and irritated me,
How a Capital follows a comma,
Tricking my eyes, pulling them back

There was something else too,
Something I had no name for
It was simply “Blank Verse”, or “Free”

As I had later found out.
These things that own a meaning,
But unnamed they just mull about

Like horses penned in winter’s barn
They tread but go no where
Their gray breath mixes and hangs

The one is prose the other verse
They, in their stalls shift and stand
In this dull light I can’t tell them apart

And also more than I could use,
A pile of summer tools whose purpose
Doesn’t seem to matter now.

This is what I finally found,
It is Levin on Hecht
A lesson on a poem

Anonymous said...

Nobody cares Alon.