This month, I decided to explore poems and ideas about the liminal time when the leaves are gone, and the snow has not yet arrived. And to ask, when the veil has lifted, what else can you see?
some thoughts from 8 nov:
One of the reasons I love late fall, after the leaves have fallen and before the snow comes, is because it is when I have the best view of the river, the gorge, the other side. The veil of leaves and excessive greenery has temporarily lifted. For a few years, I’ve been trying to understand why I like it so much, especially when it seems to be a time of sadness and loss and dread for so many other people. I think this lifting of the veil is a useful way for me to think about it: a better view, more space, a chance to breathe and stretch and connect with things usually hidden, covered, concealed. I like the idea of lifting much better than renting/rending. This lifting is not violent or destructive.
One (boring?) thing I’ve been noticing that I never see when the trees are choked with leaves: cars parked at parking lots on the other side of the river. Today I noticed a white car, glimmering in the sunlight, positioned amongst a line of bare tree trunks. Why do I find this interesting? Maybe because it helps to orient me in relation to the other side or because it’s evidence that more than trees are over there (usually a view of the other side seems the same: tree after tree after tree, and nothing else).8 nov 2021
Every year around this time, I begin to reflect on why I love November by the gorge. I never get that far and this year is no exception. Early in the month, I decided that I wanted to write a series/sequence of poems inspired by my October research: Haunts Haunting Haunted. Most of my energy has been devoted to this writing and not thinking about why I like better views, less green veils. Still, I gathered poems for future work, and I’m sure some of my thoughts about lifting the veil are making their way into my current project.
- Fall, leaves, fall/ EMILY BRONTË
- excerpt from November/ Lucy Larcom
- Prints/ Joseph Bruchac
- Perennials/ Maggie Smith
- from The Leaf and the Cloud/ Mary Oliver
- from Wintergreen Ridge/Lorine Niedecker
- In the Meantime/ Max Garland
- Passive Voice/ LAURA DA’
- How Dark the Beginning/ Maggie Smith
- In Passing/ MATTHEW SHENODA
- Observations on the Ground/ Mary Ruefle
- Gratitude to Old Teachers / Robert Bly
- from Obit/ Victoria Chang
- from Among the Trees/ Carl Phillips