Tuesday, September 02, 2014

TUESDAY POEM | Earth by Derek Walcott


                                             Let the day grow on you upward
                                             through your feet,
                                             the vegetal knuckles,

                                             to your knees of stone,
                                             until by evening you are a black tree;
                                             feel, with evening,

                                             the swifts thicken your hair,
                                             the new moon rising out of your forehead,
                                             and the moonlit veins of silver

                                             running from your armpits
                                             like rivulets under white leaves.
                                             Sleep, as ants

                                             cross over your eyelids.
                                             You have never possessed anything 
                                             as deeply as this. 

                                             This is all you have owned
                                             from the first outcry
                                             through forever; 

                                             you can never be dispossed. 

                                             Derek Walcott 
                                                            (from the collection 'Staying Alive - real poems for real times', edited by Neil Astley)

 ". . . It's so hard to write the poem of grief or absence, to make it approachable and fresh, and not to push the reader too hard to feel the deep upwelling ugly thing. 'candle' is powerful for its restraint and its ranging unexpectedness. For its cavernous, versatile waha that does everything except cry. . .'  Stunning commentary by Mary McCallum, this week's editor on the Tuesday Poem hub. Mary's chosen poem is 'candle' by mightily-multi-talented Hinemoana Baker.

                                      '. . . The boat was a mouth, the word was a whale,
                                      the moon was a flying fish, the swoop of a letter. . .'

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