Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Snow Is Deep Upon The Ground : Poem In Your Post

The snow is deep on the ground.   
Always the light falls
Softly down on the hair of my belovèd.

This is a good world.
The war has failed.
God shall not forget us.
Who made the snow waits where love is.

Only a few go mad.
The sky moves in its whiteness
Like the withered hand of an old king.   
God shall not forget us.
Who made the sky knows of our love.

The snow is beautiful on the ground.   
And always the lights of heaven glow   
Softly down on the hair of my belovèd.

                       - Kenneth Patchen, 1943

What a lovely, puzzly poem, perfect for a December day, not to mention for reading out loud.  Each read enriches its impact - no over-analyzing required.

This one hails from a poet and visual artist who inspired the Beats, and although I couldn't sleuth out a particular term for Patchen's form here (gentle readers, if you know it, do tell), I do find the poem sinking down and swirling around its meanings and images.  It made me ponder how Patchen made his choices of stanza length and line length and gently morphed repetition.

I found this one while trolling on Poetry Out Loud's website for my next performance poem, and then I did a bit of research and found this wonderful series of illustrations by graphic novelist Ron Regé, Jr for the poem, complete with an intriguing discussion of the similarities between comics and poems, on   (For the complete four panels, just click the link above, read the thought-provoking article, and hit the link for the slide show.)

And if it's all the same to the weather-maker(s) up there, I'd like to ask for a smackerel of snow right now, please.


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