Friday, November 30, 2012

Poetry Friday: Window Seat

Yesterday the poem that came in the Poem-A-Day email from the Academy of American Poets was a remarkable one by a poet I'd never heard of before, Jacqueline Osherow.

Here's part from the middle of this poem, "Window Seat: Providence to New York City."

the window
of my train
might be rolling
out a scroll
of meticulous
ancient Chinese
painting: my heart-
beat down its side
in liquid characters:
no tenses, no
conjunctions, just
emphatic strokes
on paper from
the inner bark
of sandalwood: 

You can read the rest here.

I love the way Osherow has turned the view out of a train window into almost an ekphrastic poem, making me think of exquisitely calligraphied Chinese scrolls.  "My heartbeat down its side in liquid characters" - isn't that beautiful?  I kept thinking about this poem all day.  

There are lots more beautiful poems to keep you thinking all day  here at the Poem Farm, which is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup.

7 comments:

jama said...

Yes, I enjoyed this poem the other day when I got it in my inbox, and was struck by those same lines about the "heartbeat."

Love how the words unfurl down the page, precisely like a scroll!

Liz Steinglass said...

I love reading connections I would never have made.

Susan Taylor Brown said...

oh wow...I read it and passed on it (I save my favorites) and now I see it in a new light I will have to go back and save it anew.

Linda at teacherdance said...

I saw it too, Ruth. It is full of both view and connecting. And it does remind me of someone writing from a painting, and she carries the work of the visual throughout the poem.

Author Amok said...

Gorgeous poem. The lines you quote are visual, but they also speak to the connective leaps the mind makes -- from looking out the window, to Chinese scrolls, to the heart.

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

I love the meticulous construct of this poem, especially these lines from your own page:
just
emphatic strokes
on paper from
the inner bark
of sandalwood:
This is a poem to read over and over again. Thanks, Ruth.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater said...

There is a certain visual magic to looking out of a train window...like a moving kaleidoscope! Thank you for this! Happy Poetry Saturday! a.