NaPoWriMo 09 – day 2

sunset-billing-lake-by-cynthia-berridgeThe cold, darkening

Coming in to roost
the flocks of starlings
dip and sweep
trailing filaments of dusk

and then settle
in to the weft of trees
anchoring night
with their feet.




Well once again I’ve not used the ReadWritePoem prompt, although I’m letting it settle in my mind for tomorrow’s effort.

This one comes from a homework assignment my first reader and I set ourselves a fortnight ago. (Being me, the homework was done in the half hour this morning just before she arrived.) (She’d finished hers days ago.)

There were two parts to the assignment. We’d been reading and discussing W S Merwin’s poem “The Black Plateau”, and the first task was to rewrite the poem, but by cutting only. Using some or all of the original lines, in their proper order, and only making punctuation or grammatical additions. (It’s a fun assignment. Try it!) The second part was to use your rewritten version as a springboard and create your own poem from it. Voila!

The title comes from the first stanza: their reflections in the little/ cold, darkening stream. Other than that, it’s really just an extension from the mood of that first stanza (which begins The cows bring in the last light) with an image from the sixth stanza (little knots herding pieces of darkness). And you don’t have to tell me that it’s nowhere near the scope or depth of the Merwin poem. But … there’s something there. It’s a nice, deft little lyric.

I’ve survived day two of NaPoWriMo. Woohoo!

2 Replies to “NaPoWriMo 09 – day 2”

  1. Deft is the perfect word to describe this piece. “anchoring night//with their feet” is lovely, and after reading this, I really want to read the original piece you worked from. Also, it’s official: you’ve got plenty of game. 🙂

  2. Thank you!
    Checking my notes, “The Black Plateau” was first published in The Carrier of Ladders (Athaneum, 1970). Doing a quick Google, it looks like it’s been reprinted in Migration (Copper Canyon Press, 2007).
    I love his work.

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