Thursday, April 05, 2007

Poetry Thursday


This is my first foray into Poetry Thursday. I thought one had to write a poem to participate, and since I am not a poet, I bowed out. But then poetmom told me how wrong I was! All one needs to do is talk about poetry. What fun! And luckily, FC just told me about a wonderful poetry resource: American Life in Poetry.

At this web site, former poet laureate Ten Kooser picks a poem each week and comments on it. He allows publications to reproduce the column for free because he wants to see poems reach more people via newspapers and blogs. I love any idea that creates writerly community, and this one does just that.

Here's this week's column:


American Life in Poetry: Column 106

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006


By describing the relocation of the moles which ravaged her yard, Washington poet Judith Kitchen presents an experience that resonates beyond the simple details, and suggests that children can learn important lessons through observation of the natural world.

Catching the Moles


First we tamp down the ridges
that criss-cross the yard

then wait for the ground
to move again.

I hold the shoe box,
you, the trowel.

When I give you the signal
you dig in behind

and flip forward.
Out he pops into daylight,

blind velvet.

We nudge him into the box,
carry him down the hill.

Four times we've done it.
The children worry.

Have we let them all go
at the very same spot?

Will they find each other?
We can't be sure ourselves,

only just beginning to learn
the fragile rules of uprooting.

Poem copyright © 1986 by Judith Kitchen, whose most recent book is the novel, "The House on Eccles Road," Graywolf Press, 2004. Reprinted from "Perennials," Anhinga Press, 1986, with permission of the author. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.


I love the way the end of the poem opens up to be about so much more than just moles. It brought to mind the children the poem mentions, and how much of parenting is learning how to root and unroot children as they grow. I also like the line "blind velvet." It lent sympathy to these creatures who are ruining the garden. Best Blogger Tips

9 comments:

Tina With Wings said...

Welcome to Poetry Thursday!!!

And what a wonderful poem to choose. It reminds me of these rats that we used to have in our basement- I always did think that they were too cute to be called rodents. :)

Regina Clare Jane said...

Yes, welcome!
What an auspicious first foray as well! A wonderful poem and I liked your observations on it very much! I look forward to more from you!

January said...

Great choice of a poem, and fun think about such thing with the weird weather we're having in the Boston area.

Glad to see that no moles were hurt in the making of this poem.

bookbinds said...

Great poem, I enjoyed how the poem dealt with the bother theme of uprooting by linking it to the catching of the moles!

Michelle said...

I loved "blind velvet" as well. Really what a mole is like.

As a new adoptive parent this gives me a lot to think about.

Thank you for posting it.

TI said...

I like this. It's a poem that I can "get", and that makes me feel good because usually I find that poetry makes me feel stupid!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Wonderful poem, thanks for sharing it and your thoughts on it.

Repeater said...

Judith Kitchen was teaching at one of the MFA programs I applied to- I talked to her when I was trying to make a decision. I like a lot of her work. What a coincidence that's the first poem you chose (I don't know too many poets)

Roberta said...

I like this poem, thanks for introducing me to a poet I have never read before.

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