One for Dylan

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One for Dylan

Here's a relatively contemporary poet whom, I imagine, even Dylan has not had much of an encounter with. I knew this man personally and his poetry was potentially some of the very finest I have ever set eyes on. The only problem is that he did not believe in revision or revisiting in any extensive sense. It gave rise to some infelicities in language. But, all that can be forgiven for some of this beauty:

The Moon Has No Motion I Can Move
Jay Bradford Fowler Jr.

The moon has no motion I can move
Nor the trees in the night can I have
As my green leaves.

The moon made a soft motion
In the night and the leaves
Whispered closer to themselves.

My dream turns as softly
As the moon and thought, like leaves,
Grow in peace among their branches.

The moon is no maker. It does not mean.
And the leaves in the wind I cannot do.
The moon is no maker but for me to make

The letting of the moon grow soft
Upon my shoulder. The leaves are no wisdom.
They do not speak, but for saying
my prayers as I sleep.

from "When the Secret Taper Descends

When the secret taper decends
And holds steady on the tips of the phlox
Until they burst into blooms of pink
The man on the porch opens the door
To the yard and walks out into
The dark garden to hold his face among
Their blooms and smell their incense. . .

from "A Straight Line of Love

My father will not ascend into heaven.
He will drive there in his Packard.
And the drive will be north, through
Connecticut and New Hampshire, to Maine,
And beyond. One night my father will rise
From his bed and leave the little
Room with the chest of drawers and its wild
Garden of photographs. . .

Jay was a beautiful and unique voice in poetry. It is a shame he is no longer with us. It would be a greater shame if his poetry, which he loved as nothing else, were to be utterly unremembered.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 8, 2002 12:48 PM.

Treasures Come from Digging Sounds was the previous entry in this blog.

Wendell Berry It took me is the next entry in this blog.

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