Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Trala / Unterecker / Wings

In which I am dutiful

At last, outfitted Thaliad pages for Amazon appear--at the link, and another here--at least for the paperback (hardcover, available through Phoenicia Publishing.) Anything to wish for, anything to dislike?

More Unterecker

"The achieved form, the symbol which the poem itself is, useful to the reader, but not useful as a motive for action, gives him a 'vision of reality which satisfies the whole being.'"

An otherworldly poem for the Sabbath

Here's a poem from the collection called The Foliate Head (UK: Stanza Press, 2012.) The "foliate" head is a leafy head, a green man head, and the book contains many leaves and many strangenesses. Here's one suitable for the thin part of the week, when our time impinges on sacred time. The poem was originally published in qarrtsiluni, and if you go there, you may listen to a podcast and read comments as well.

 “I HEARD THEIR WINGS LIKE THE SOUND OF MANY WATERS”

In the dark, in the deeps of the night that are
Crevasses of a sea, I heard their wings.
I heard the trickling of tiny feathers
With their hairs out like milkweed parachutes
Floating idly on the summer air,
I heard the curl and splash, the thunderbolts
Of pinions, the rapids and rattle of shafts —
Heard Niagara sweep the barreled woman
And shove her under water for three days,
I heard a jar of fragrance spill its waves
As a lone figure poured out all she could,
Heard the sky’s bronze -colored raindrops scatter
On corrugated roofs and tops of wells,
I heard the water-devil whirligigs,
I heard an awesome silence when the wings
Held still, upright as flowers in a vase,
And when I turned to see why they had stilled,
Then what I saw was likenesses to star
Imprisoned in a form of marble flesh,
With a face like lightning-fires and aura
Trembling like a rainbow on the shoulders,
But all the else I saw was unlikeness
That bent me like a bow until my brow
Was pressed against the minerals of earth,
And when I gasped at air, I tasted gold.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful... and always more so on each re-reading, Marly. 'Milkweed parachutes' really jumped out for me this time as I have recently done a print with a milkweed pod, though not with that amazing fuzz.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rereading is the best reading...

    Thanks, Marja-Leena--I am glad you liked a reread.

    ReplyDelete

Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.