Sunday, March 10, 2013

Your Sunday Poem

Read a wonderful fragment in the Feb. 11 & 18th New Yorker, a review of an exhibit of surrealist drawings at the Morgan Library.  Peter Schjeldahl attributed to T.S. Eliot the comment that poetry is "a raid on the inarticulate," an extraordinarily apt observation.  Last week's poem had a delightful twist ending.  This poem has such an ending too, but this one is a good example why some poems should carry a warning label.  It's by Virginia Hamilton Adair and from "180 More," edited by Billy Collins.

Yea, Though I Walk

Stunted bush
beside the unpaved road
the shepherd often passes here
with his hundred sheep
their hooves churning the soft sand
the lambs bouncing as they follow along.

We walked under the palms
to see the shepherd lead
his traveling company
but they had gone by earlier
the dust had settled.

Under the stunted bush
a cool hollow in the sand
in it a lamb too lame to follow
a lamb with its feet wired together
lifted its little face.


Sewertoons AKA Lynette Tornatzky said...

File this one under shocking poetry. You did give it a warning, but of course I didn't listen! I had to jump right to an allegorical meaning, the literal was too painful.

Churadogs said...

Yes, I did warn. Sorry.

Extraordinary what four innocent little words in the hands of a master can do to the human heart -- "wired together" and "little face." That image is now permanently seared into my retina and brain.

Poets can be dangerous creatures.In their "raid on the inarticulate," they can leave behind collateral damage -- the reader.

Alon Perlman said...

The "ants on the melon" lady.
""Adair displays a wonderful knack for re-visioning biblical stories in a wry idiom," observed Bass".

The Lamb of God, abandoned to the wolves or ants.

Quite a betrayal-
Roee Roee, Lamah Shabachtani? ===

But my Aramaic is quite rusty, and there is no good google translate for it.