Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rowing Daydreaming

Rowing Daydreaming

Winter, where the rower was,
made rowing impossible.
And so in his imagination,
from Frost’s snowy woods,
he felled a birch,
trimmed it, hollowed it out,
shaped oars from limbs,
and launched it on the River
of Inspiration.  He would row
to where his desire drew him,
past where Poe’s raven perched,
past where the Paraclete descended,
past where the Phoenix descended
and rose in flames.  These all
sheltered in his Woods of Dream
through which ran the River
of Inspiration.  And in his mind
hovered an albatross to remind him
not to repeat the Mariner’s act.
He would row beyond that,
to where he heard Keat’s nightingale
singing from deep within the woods,
veil the woods with evensong,
when all about the rower in reality
was winterswept, the river, the woods,
the wait for spring where he stood
imagining crocus come to soften
the river unutterably frozen.

Philip Kuepper
(11 October 2013)

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