25 ene. 2006

Stuck under my office door was a package from UPS. Opening it up, I found a copy of Island Road by Henry Gould.

Maple seedlings twirl out of the reddening leaves
out of the blue cerulean onto ochre bricks
in the clear wonder of one autumn day
everything blushes toward the fall to come

But the road in my mind ends among some birches
somewhere in Siberia white on white
their limbs garnered into icebound sheaves
woodpiles a pear-shaped lake frozen like a drum

White too are the endless nights
among huddled words I am a bundle of sticks
frozen head down signalling "wrong way"

until a forgotten phantom heaves back the door of
the inclined pole and lurches free
bearing my whole body toward her delirious shore

Why is not Henry Gould better known? He has the kind of poetic chops that transcend categories or divisions. I used to think his poetry was over-written, mannered. That may be true of some of his work, but that may be more my problem than his. It's like knowing that a particular street entrance labelled "wrong way, do not enter" is in fact a place where you need to enter. Even though I prefer coffee to tea this is in fact my "cup of tea."

3 comentarios:

suzanne dijo...

so glad to see
Henry getting some
due respect
as the fine poet he is

Tim Peterson dijo...

"Mannered" should not be confused with "empurpled." Mannerism is more interesting than that -- is, I would argue, one of the central elements we're dealing with in avant poetry.

Behrle, Prince of Trolls dijo...

Henry's kind of a big freak. That may be one reason. I have to go look up "empurpled" now.