Poem of the Day: 1/2/13

A letter to the snow is apropos. Here, from Sleeping Beauty to “Snow.” As in Snow White. In “Dear Snow,” a poem from her first collection, Enter Invisible (Sarabande, 2005), Catherine Wing, in alternately and brilliantly off-rhymed tercets whips us up in a fairy-tale squall. Since finding a poem online last week, I’ve bought both her books, and have been loving the delving. The blurbs compare her to Auden and Stevens, which is audible. But I hear late Roethke, too (who loved Stevens, so it makes sense) in her dark nursery rhyme slant-rhyming: “But how are you and your worry wild?” Visit your bookseller; she’ll order these for you fast. Or buy it from the publisher. Catherine Wing is worth every penny and more.


The grandfather clock is set at bewilder
which means this tower spiraling
some un-time reads: if, when, awhile.

If the night hadn’t come in like ink
against the castle’s shore and briar isle,
then roses next, house and ingle.

But how are you and your worry wild?
And how’s all that brood, short and short in sin,
excepting the basic grump, laze, hap. Wilt

come for Christmas, snowflake and spin?
Or are you still locked up a-wheel of wiles?
Damned stepmother washed up, has-been.

These days I have something of the guile
roosting under sheave and shingle.
Dad, the king, looks at me and cries,

but I’m not hurt or bad beyond a splinter.
Harvest is in, the realm expanding and I
so-so in school. But he’s gone mad to spindle.

(My advice is this:
Bewilder awhile wild eye and well,
splinter the spindle into spine, and ink and apple.)




Here is a terrific review of Catherine Wing’s debut collection.