April. Chance of rain? One hundred per cent. Odd isn’t it, how reading the percentage in whole words renders the common statistic unknowable? Poetry works like that. A familiar word in a new context, and meaning eludes us, hiding in allusion.
Perhaps I suffered from illusions of grandeur when I committed, in a rather spur-of-the-moment fashion, to share 30 poems (and write about them at least tangentially, for pity’s sake!) as a personal homage to April, aka #NationalPoetryMonth.
Speaking of tangents…
You know, I expect a hashtagged poem will one day emerge, and we will rue the twitters. Oh, yes, we will. You’re probably ruing my penchant for the parenthetical commentary – I know I am.
Back to my point, which of course I do have: Sharing a poem a day on a blog that’s been suffering from blogger neglect is no small undertaking. Not only do I have to sharpen my wit, but I needs must find the diamonds in the poetry coal pile. I do know a few poems at this point (I’ve been an English teacher for a while now), but the learning explorer in me says I should go where this poetry admirer has not gone before. And wouldn’t you know, I find this sparkling gem by A.E. Stallings hiding in a poetry search loosely categorized by ‘spring’ and ‘rain’ (it’s been pouring around here today). Let the evocative power of words and the tangents you find yourself lingering on work their magic:
The rain is haunted;
I had forgotten.
My children are two hours abed
And yet I rise
Hearing behind the typing of the rain,
Its abacus and digits,
A voice calling me again,
The kids lie buried under duvets, sound
Asleep. It isn’t them I hear, it’s
Something formless that fidgets
Beyond the window’s benighted mirror,
Where a negative develops, where reflection
Holds up a glass of spirits.
Rain is a kind of recollection.
Much has been shed,
Hissing indignantly into the ground.
It is the listening
Haunted by these fingertaps and sighs
Behind the beaded-curtain glistening,
As though by choices that we didn’t make and never wanted,
As though by the dead and misbegotten.
Whether it’s rainy weather, spring-prompted nostalgia, or simply the ‘white noise’ that won’t let things be, ‘rain is a kind of recollection,’ isn’t it?