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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Poem: Winter blur

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Winter blur

I
How strange suddenly
to read the word ermine
and think of a
woman’s neck,

warmed, blurred
with white fur, and not
to see the long stoat’s
winter skin—alive, bounding;

II
O marquise winter moon,
rustle of skirt on the balcony,
and the agony to fly;

when a man feels your whiteness,
he soars; toward what, I wonder:
the sun’s reflection, or some
other light, conquering within?


January 2012


Poetry should be heard.

Notes:
stoat: mustela ermenia, or ermine
marquise: this shape, a cut of a diamond 




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23 comments:

Brendan said...

What you said in your previous post about the influence of working on Rilke and Rumi in your voice -- it's wholly your own, yet stands on such great shoulders. Moving forward, looking back -- ermine at a throat and in the field: some / other light, conquering within. Yes! - Brendan

erin said...

you say so little and mean so much, force us outward with great pressure of language to become new things, in new dimensions. jesusgod, the tension in just this stanza:

O marquise winter moon,
rustle of skirt on the balcony,
and the agony to fly


agony to fly!(?) are you kidding me?(!)

this is wonderful, ruth. bloody wonderful.

xo
erin

hedgewitch said...

Your words seemed poised on the wind here, hovering like the hawk, lowering like a stormy sky. Like both, they bring beauty and insight, cut with mortality. Fine work, Ruth.

"Auntie" sezzzzzz... said...

Oh yes, poetry should be heard. How delightful. To have you read it, for us. Just delightful!!!

And thank you for appreciating our very old corner Drug Store. :-)

Dr. Pepper. Since we are "Olden," my husband was in the Army, as a matter of course with ROTC, years ago... He learned to love Dr. Pepper, when stationed in the deep South. :-)

Will have to ask him if he knows that it was first *invented* by druggist?

Have you ever seen "Peppermint Pigs" sold at Christmas Time? They were invented in our old, Victorian, corner Drug Store, in our old Victorian city. :-)

I am not young enough to know everything."
- Oscar Wilde

The Broad said...

Your words melt in the mind ...

JeannetteLS said...

well, shoot. Brendan and Erin said all I could. Except the delight I feel when I read your words aloud... or the tears that come sometimes from somewhere too deep to name.

I don't know how to write about poetry. I just listen and feel.

Amanda said...

the life and death of whiteness....this is, i guess, the secret kept by the depth of winter.

Patricia said...

Ruth, Happy New Year! Ah, ermine, I always think of that beautiful white coat that only comes out in winter. It is there to camouflage this gentle creature. How rich and rare.

steven said...

the warm blur of a woman's throat wrapped in ermine . . . whoooosh!!!! i missed a breath. steven

rosaria said...

Such lush imagery, a woman's neck wrapped in fur on a cold night, the moon, a skirt, and a man's desire. I can see a diamond too, and I'm transported to breakfast at Tiffany's.
So much not said.
So much evoked.

George said...

Beautiful imagery in this poem, Ruth, and lovingly read by you. Who knows what makes a man soar? But I suspect that it is always something more than meets the eye, perhaps "some other light, conquering within."

Arti said...

You're into a great start for the new year, Ruth, a new blog. All the best! And for this poem, it's interesting that you leave us with a question. I like it that your poems are 'open ended'... leaving our imagination swirling.

The Unknowngnome said...

The light of your words are conquering!

Herringbone said...

There is a sensual feel. The ability to quietly blend into ones surroundings. A womans neck. Moonlight.

ds said...

I cannot add to what has gone before, only bow my head in gratitude.

Ruth said...

Brendan, you honor me. Thank you. As for shoulders . . . are you sure someone isn't standing on mine, and that's why they're sore? ;-)

erin, you rock. I wonder if you can guess where that stanza came from? I was reading Tolstoy, War & Peace, and this amazing scene with Prince Andrew, and he hears a young woman on the balcony above him; she doesn't know he's there, below; and she falls in love with the moon, and she wants to fly . . . Thank you.

Hedge, thanks for your weatherly praise. I love your comment.

Thanks, Auntie! I have not seen "Peppermint Pigs" but anything peppermint sounds good.

The Broad, that's lovely, thank you.

Ruth said...

Jeannette, bless you for reading my words aloud, and for your tears. Nothing could be better for me.

Amanda, yes there is much life in winter, though it is deathly cold and pale.

Patricia, hello! Yes, don't you just admire white on white? As an artist, I think you must appreciate the subtlety.

steven, breathless is good. And I know you love fashion, so I hear you.

rosaria, thank you for your good words. Ah, Tiffany's, and Audrey in furs . . .

Ruth said...

Thank you, George. I hope you and my other friends will forgive my being brief here. Yes, more than meets the eye, at least for the right sort of man.

Arti, why do I ask questions? Who can give me an answer? :-) Happy New Year, my friend.

Hello, Unknowngnome, what a kind thing to say, thank you.

Herringbone, I'm so glad you left your comment about this poem feeling sensual. It does to me too.

ds, when you bow your head, you do me great honor. Thank you.

Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

All that beauty and mystery...then you very sweetly brought me back to remember the sweet, tiny-pawed source.

Louise Gallagher said...

I love how your poetry flows like silk across my skin. Like ermine around a neck.

Beautiful imagery and I love the mystery and symmetry of "O marquise winter moon/rustle of skirt:

Lovely!

James Owens said...

beautiful and important language here ... i love the shift from part one to part two -- though looking out to the moon, it seems a movement to the interior, flinging the self open like a winter coat to welcome the light and whatever the light makes ....

Ginnie said...

I would love some of Winter's Blur, Ruthie. In the meantime, thank you for yours.

Vagabonde said...

What a pretty picture of a lovely ermine to accompany your beautiful poem. My aunt (my father’s sister from Cairo, Egypt) was named Hermine, but in French we do not pronounce the H. I always thought it was a pretty name and the animal is so sweet.