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Sunday, February 12, 2023

Two February Poems


I found this poem by Creeley today by accident, literally pulling a book off the shelf and opening it at random, and it made me remember I had a February poem too.  There is no comparison possible (genius vs. amateur poet), but there is a poetry too in juxtaposition.  In mine I don't like the Yeats echo and the clich√© in the last line (biting wind!). The rest of it is good, insofar as I can judge my own work. If I changed "lacked all conviction" to something else or took out the word "biting,"or stale language like "openly confess," it might upset the balance of the poem in another way. There is also a lack of syntactic continuity between the first and second line, but that I think makes the poem better. 

I invented the "friend" in order to give voice to my own feelings about this month, if I remember right.  

Creeley's has that endearing "humanity" to it, and the lightness of touch.  "small month's meagerness" is wonderful. He isn't afraid of the set phrase either (against all odds, bitter cold). 

February (Mayhew)

It was your hatred for February that first endeared you to me, old friend
What you called its impertinent brevity, its indecisiveness and squalor
Though the heart of winter, it lacked all conviction  

Now it is February again and I wonder if you were speaking in earnest 
Perhaps there was something else under your skin that you couldn't openly confess 
Something colder even than the biting wind of that month you despised 

Hearts (Robert Creeley)

No end to it if
"heart to heart" 
is all there is

to buffer, put against
harshness of weather,
small month's meagerness--

"Hearts are trumps,"
win out again
against all odds,

beat this 
drab season of bitter cold
to save a world

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