Monday, November 19, 2007

"Five a.m., the Ninth Month" by Jacqueline Osherow

(p. 69) “Five a.m., the Ninth Month,” Jacqueline Osherow

Your kick awakens me to wild geese
Honking overhead, the stirring trees
Just visible beneath the new, pale blue.
Everything is coming: day, spring, you;
The geese above all seem to shout, “Make way!”
But I would almost keep you where you are,
Your pulse at breakneck speed turning the air
I breathe into a future, wind on clay,
Your heart galloping beneath my heart
And every living thing I hear, its echo,
Geese and wind in trees and my own heart,
The whole unwakened world resounds with you,
Shaking until life itself will part
And you—imagine—you’ll come screaming through.

I like this one, too. For one, I like wild geese in poems—I don’t know why, but they always catch my attention, just like they do when they fly over the sky. The poem is so eager and happy and all the images are full of flying and galloping forward—the geese, the trees in the wind, the baby’s pulse and the coming birth. Why did she write this one much more rhymed (aabb cddc efefef) and more definitely in sonnet-form than the poem above (which shows some vestigial partial rhymes and also has 14 lines)? I wonder if it expresses how much more fully formed the child in the womb is?
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