25 oct. 2007

The White Horse

The youth walks up to the white horse, to put its halter on

and the horse looks at him in silence.

They are so silent they are in another world.

--D.H. Lawrence

This was one of Kenneth Koch's favorite poems, I'm guessing, because he put it in his anthologies "Sleeping on the Wing" and "Making Your Own Days." It's the basis of a writing exercise in "Rose, Where Did You Get That Red?" and I think in "I Never Told Anybody" as well, his book about teaching poetry to people in convalescent homes.

Reading it today it suddenly hit me that this kind of D.H. Lawrence poem was a source for "deep image" poetry. That particular tone is like that of Bly's

"Old men are sitting before their houses on car seats

In the small towns. I am happy,

The moon rising above the turkey sheds."

(Differences of quality aside, of course.) That's a more plausible source than a lot of the European poetry critics have seen behind Bly's poetry. I'm not sure why I hadn't thought of it till now.

1 comentario:

Emily Lloyd dijo...

Yes--of course--and I hadn't noticed that before, either. Even more than Bly, I think it sounds James Wright-y.