A storm in April

November 8, 2007

Some winters, taking leave,
Deal us a last, hard blow,
Salting the ground like Carthage
Before they will go.

But the bright, milling snow
Which throngs the air today
It is a way of leaving
So as to stay.

The light flakes do not weigh
The willows down, but sift
Through the white catkins, loose
As petal-drift

Or in an up-draft lift
And glitter at a height,
Dazzling as summers leaf-stir
Chinked with light.

This storm, if I am right,
Will not be wholly over
Till green fields, here and there,
Turn white with clover,
And through chill air the puffs of milkweed hover.

i thought this poem was cool the way it was written because the transition from winter into spring is my favorite change of seasons. i thought it was neat the first stanza when he talked of the winters dealing us a “last, hard blow, salting the ground like  Carthage before they will go.” the question is, is this poem a representation of more than just the changing of seasons? we have discussed how seasons represent different stages of your life (ex: winter=death, dark times) could this be a representation of some type of rebirth?


A Fable

November 5, 2007

Securely sunning in a forest glade,
A mild, well-meaning snake
Approved the adaptations he had made
For safety’s sake.

He liked the skin he had—
Its mottled camouflage, its look of mail,
And was content that he had thought to add
A rattling tail.

The tail was not for drumming up a fight;
No, nothing of the sort.
And he would only use his poisoned bite
As last resort.

A peasant now drew near,
Collecting wood; the snake, observing this,
Expressed concern by uttering a clear
But civil hiss.

The simple churl, his nerves at once unstrung,
Mistook the other’s tone
And dashed his brains out with a deftly-flung
Pre-emptive stone.


Security, alas, can give
A threatening impression;
Too much defense-initiative
Can prompt aggression.

the way wilbur used a snake to represent the fable i thought was very interesting because a fable usually has an animal or sorts to teach a moral. “He liked the skin he had: its mottled camouflage, its look of mail” as if to say the snake liked itself, the story it was becoming, and would use his “poisoned bite as a last resort,” or a bad guy or enemy.  once a a peasant, an outsider, comes into the story the moral is ready to be released. The one part i didn’t understand was the last paragraph, especially the last sentence. “Too much defense-initiative can prompt aggression.” i just couldnt understand what this part meant exactly. any thoughts?

The Writer

November 5, 2007

In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.
I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.
Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.
But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which

The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.
I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted a sash
And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark
And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top,
And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits
Rose when, suddenly sure,
sill of the world.
It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten.  I wish
What I wished you before, but harder

this poem really roped me in as a reader. I could feel the love he felt for his daughter, and how badly he wanted her to wrtie her story. “But now it is she who pauses, as if to reject my thought and its easy figure. (…) The whole house seems to be thinking, and then she is at it again.” you can feel the tension, and the pause she takes to write. I also liked how he then brought you back two year earlier, when he was going through the same thing. “I remember the dazed starling which was trapped in that very room, two years ago; how we stole in, lifted a sash.” I found that sash can mean a casement, a slight covering. so the sash he lifted uncovered the idea that became his story filled with “iridescent creature,” and with that you could feel the story come to life. I also found the last stanza to be interesting, “It is always a matter, my darling, of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish what I wished you before, but harder.” Wibur has been there, been through the strugle of trying to write a story. I thought it was interesting how he showed this.