Thursday January 27, 2011

A large white bird—albino crow? Lost seagull?—glimpsed through the snow, agglomerated flakes as big as small leaves, rocking and spinning.

4 Comments


  1. Spun

    Through air leafed with snow,
    a large white bird– albino crow, lost
    seagull, emperor crane: emissary
    of what secret life or mystery?

    Today was promised sun, but nothing
    even faintly smolders except the tiniest
    crumbs in the toaster tray. Impermanent
    visitor, infrequent lodger, you stencil

    your mirage on every dissolving thing:
    salt, sugar, steam; the spiderweb
    of lines upon each palm, the starry
    tracks that streak the iron dark.

    ~ Luisa A. Igloria
    01 27 2011



  2. The final stanza uses a classical poetic device called “apostrophe”—it is old and overused, but only a skilled poet can make it work in contemporary poetry. In this case, its effectiveness stems from a reference to the most ordinary “salt” to fading and ageing palm prints, to the mirage of the shooting star streaking through “iron dark”. These “conceits” become “hyperbolic” in context, but are specially devised here to concretize the concept of “mirage” (which in final count charaterises even finite life itself. Like snow, life also dissolves.).

    Three poetic equipment merge to make the apostrophe particularly appealing. (Eg., “Ah, Love! Could you and I with Him conspire /to make this sorry scheme of things entire, /would we not shatter it to bits, and remould it nearer to our hearts desire?” I am quoting [from fading memory] an apostrophe from Khayyam’s “Rubaiyat” as translated by Fitzgerald.)

    In “Spun,” we have a good poet working.

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