Saturday, October 07, 2006

Poetry Class!

Here we are again, with yet another poem I'm throwing open to the judgement of all you clever young people out there. This one's called 'Picnic's Over' and it's by Erica Wagner:

Here is the lesson these travellers took:
a river, a lover, a broken book.
Dressed for the weather, naked as rain,
roped one to the other they set out again.

That one has packed up his tricks for the night:
the jack-knife, the skein, the mariner's light.
The wren is the gift at the heart of the wood;
her song is washed clean in the travellers' blood.

This one lays bait for the stars to devour:
a feather, a saltbox, his enemy's power.
He thought that the sandwiches tasted of shame,
his hunger a dog off the edge of the frame.

I will go with you, the fifth one remarked,
past the bridge over silence and into the dark;
the blade and the seed to temper disaster,
the clatter of horns will carry our laughter.

Here is the lesson these travellers took:
a ladder, a letter, a scarlet book.
Stripped by the rain, worn in the weather,
the lover, the enemy, vanish together.

The poem is inscribed 'After Elaine Fasula,' but since I have no idea who Elaine Fasula is when she's at home, it sheds no light on the thing. I kind of like this, despite its flaws ('wood' and 'blood' don't go together, nor do 'disaster' and 'laughter') - it certainly FEELS like it's ABOUT something. Is this wrong? Is it gobbledygook masquerading as something more?

Either way, that line 'the wren is the gift at the heart of the wood' is, in my opinion, perfect. It instantly went into my long-term memory.

So let me hear from you all! Like, dislike? Sebastian, I assume you've slept with both Erica Wagner AND Elaine Fasula - perhaps you can shed some light? And what about you, Elmo? Not only in your own right but what about your crickety skating-partner? Doesn't she dabble in poetry?

I await the verdicts of my betters.

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