I have left this blog dormant for nearly a year, but as the ice on the pond on campus has finally broken, so too has my dry spell. Apropos during Napowrimo, I suppose.
Today, while clarifying some instructions for my creative writing students, I fixed a poem that has been vexing me for nearly 20 years. Or at least, if it’s not fixed, it’s better than it was the last time I looked at it over two years ago. I still don’t really like the title but I am happier with this poem than I’ve been with anything I’ve written in a long time.
I like ekphrastic poetry–especially about photographs. The poems that got me accepted into the School of the Art Institute of Chicago‘s brand-new MFA program in 1996 (deferred to 1997) were based on photographs taken on an extra-mural studies trip to Paris in December 1992. As I haven’t scanned those photos, I have to rely on the magic of the web for Christopher Parr/ Christian Milet over at pursuitist.com for photos of the grounds at the Palace of Versailles in winter:
A walk through the winter gardens at Versailles
carrying silence between us
like an injured child
Near the empty fountain of Apollo’s sun chariot
stands another statue covered in pea-green canvas
arm stretched out to lace fingers
with dormant trees
This stillness hangs heavy-bellied
and nameless while the wind
through the fountain speaks to him
of white spaces and windows
in a house I will never see