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Poet's Corner: Autumn is felt in the heart

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Posted on October 7, 2013 | Blog Category:
By Leonard Gibbs



The poet: It would be hard to imagine anyone with more artistic and literary credentials than Ann Day. She is a writer, photographer, naturalist, and above all, poet! She publishes an illustrated day-book, using her own photographs. She collaborates with other poets in publishing books of poetry. She is a member of at least two poetry groups. For years she has published a weekly column called “The Nature of Things,” etc. Also, she is a splendid luncheon companion.

The poem: The poem is, at first, a lot of fun. The stanzas can be juggled around. it makes sense no matter the order. Each stands alone. Sight and sound are presented in beautiful vignettes.

But there is so much more than that: “haunting cries of south-bound geese,” “October’s half hidden moon,” “blackened leaves,” “frozen buckets,” “fog that hugs the river.”

One almost thinks “death.” The end. And the poem is surely about death, but the good death of the living earth. When we are children we want the day never to end. Sleep is the interruption of our play.

That is not the truth of the world. As sure as life, everything dies. But the fact of death is not the end of life. Nature’s death is a guarantee of the springtime. It may be that death is simply a resting time, from which new life springs. This gloomy poem is then the basis of a prophecy.

I will not speak to the poet’s theology, I will praise her description of the coming winter, after which the spring will come. Our thanks to her for this reminder.

 

The poem:

Two Crows

by Ann Day

 

Last night

I heard haunting cries

of south-bound geese

crossing the veiled light

of October’s half-hidden moon.

 

In the icy morning hours,

I walk among blackened leaves

of tomato plants and pumpkin vines.

I pound frozen water buckets

and hear the cattle bawl for hay.

 

The orange gold

of yesterday’s Indian summer

lies dull and matted

under bare limbs

of our backyard maples.

 

Two crows

cross a rising pale sun

and slide silently into

fog that hugs the river

in the valley below.

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