Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Poetry Weekend: Martin Walls

EDITED to note that, if you enjoy this poem, you might be interested in the collection that contains it, Commonwealth. Especially since Mr. Walls is a kind supporter of poetry blogging, it might be nice for some of us to support him, too.

I found this poem in a discarded copy of Field while looking for something to read on the bus one day. The idea behind it isn't all that unusual, but I like its use of sound and the way it breaks down boundaries and makes familiar things mutually strange.


It is fall in the woods. I go in.
A downed aspen is covered in ears: to what is it listening?

Crack of crisp leaves as I bend to them. The thrill of late cicadas.
A distant grackle testing the season with its pulse of song.

And something else, more feeling than sound. This light
Branch-sifted, granular. As if seen through a grille.

The sun's brass screw tightens. Cold places its shawl on my shoulders.
Slowly dropping leaves reveal vaulting boughs & vast limestone clouds.

Orb spiders have pinned web-theses to the trunks of ash & beech.
Upon our simple lives, they claim, you've built your philosophy.