Thursday, April 16, 2009

An Autumn Poem in the Spring

I saw the poet Mark Strand read last night - really great! I hadn't been to a good poetry reading in a long time. One of the things he read was the first two sections of this "Five Dogs" poem - but it was the first section that really stuck with me, so I looked it up:

Five Dogs

I.

I, the dog they call Spot, was about to sing. Autumn
Had come, the walks were freckled with leaves, and a tarnished
Moonlit emptiness crept over the valley floor.
I wanted to clmb the poets' hill before the winter settled in;
I wanted to praise the soul. My neighbor told me
Not to waste my time. Already the frost had deepened
And the north wind, trailing the whip of its own scream,
Pressed against the house. "A dog's sublimity is never news,"
He said, "what's another poet in the end?"
And I stood in the midnight valley, watching the great starfields
Flash and flower in the wished-for reaches of heaven.
That's when I, the dog they call Spot, began to sing.

--Mark Strand, from Blizzard Of One



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