POND SONG 4.47
Everything points to an affirmative giving of otherness as itself affirmative . . . G&B 254
the religious say just do it__runners in day-glo fleece
and shades crowd the path__no matter what brings peace
cut out against October glare__I see it through silver grass
the immobility of a great blue__mudflat’s glowing mass
this Sunday’s wild communion__this gift of otherness received
the heron’s awkward lift-off__more than one had believed
People say to you when you raise the possibility of doing something– say, getting pregnant, or drunk– just do it! I call these The Religious ( full of faith in all things). Then that thesis is developed in a series of examples: jogging, whatever brings you peace, just do it; then the poem takes a turn, the”it” is seen not in mobility/activity but in the heron ‘s immobility. So, just how do we do immobility? Meditation? Prayer? The rest of the poem suggests a parody or subversion of conventional communion–or a reimagining of communion. But then “it” sort of explodes– the heron leaves the scene, awkwardly, thus freeing the observer from worshipping its perfect immobility.
And I would argue that this is a true version of communion and there’s real peace– again not soporific — in the more-ness envisioned in the last half line.
3 thoughts on “Pond Song 4.47”
from Wilbur’s “A Grasshopper”: The whole field did what it did,/ Peaceful now that its peace/ Lay busily hid.
Miss you, good buddy. Hope we can meet for chowder soon.
Thank you for including a note, Tom. It helps me as I re-read the poem and discover meaning at the most mundane as well as the more sublime level.
Yes, I like that final line. There’ say lift-off there, and flight.