Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Poem by Deborah Digges

Simply because this is how life seems at the moment, here's a poem by Deborah Digges, from her wonderful book, Trapeze (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004). Digges was born and raised in Missouri, and now lives in Massachusetts, where she is a professor of English at Tufts University. She also teaches in the low residency MFA program at Vermont College. She is the author of four collections of poetry, including Rough Music (1995) which won the Kinglsey Tufts Prize, and two memoirs: Fugitive Spring (1991) and The Stardust Lounge (2001). She has also collaborated on translations of the poems of Maria Elena Cruz Varela.

Deborah Digges' poems are lovely and broken and poignant and whole. If you haven't read her work, seek it out. You won't be disappointed.


Split by the light, wrought golden, one of a thousand cars stunned
sun blind,
crawling westward, I remembered a day I stopped for an old snapper,
as huge as, when embracing ghosts, you round your arms.
Who did I think I was to lift him like a pond,
or ballast from the slosh of hull swamp, tarred as he was, undaunted,
that thrashed and hissed at the worst place to try to cross,
where the road plunged east, the lumber trucks
swept daily down from the blue hills
past winter-ravaged toys blanching by makeshift crosses.
An old sea shimmered in the asphalt.
Spared over the mirage to ancient footpaths, he lunged again,
and spit, turning his oddly touching head toward the project
of the steep embankment. Such were the times.
Hardwired, the way. Cross here or die. Die crossing.


Blogger brent goodman said...

Thanks for sharing this one. Saving crossing turtles is a regular duty driving through wisconsin's lakeland northwoods. Kind of reminds me of an aquatic version of Stafford's Traveling Through the Dark.

2:18 PM  
Blogger rams said...

Julie Moulds Rybicki is an inveterate turtle-saver, too, braving even the scorn of her teenager to drag boxturtles to the far side (returning them to where they started may make a good poem, but a dead turtle.) Believe she draws the line at snappers, though.

9:49 AM  
Blogger jasiemen said...

Greg, this posted at 4:56 a.m., if this is the actual time Greg, you're up way to early.

3:40 PM  
Blogger greg rappleye said...

Thanks. And Jasiemen, that's why this blog is called "sonnets at 4 a..m"

I really do get up that early!

6:51 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

One day a couple of years ago, Deborah found on the stadium field an injured Canadian goose. She wrapped her coat around it and holding it between her legs at first, and then resting it on the seat next to her, drove an hour to Tufts Vet School.

7:37 AM  

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