Happy New Year! Wishing our Old Frog Pond Farm community near and far a new year filled with joy and discovery. January’s poem was selected by Moira Linehan.
by Betsy Sholl
Because the titmice at the feeder are
all silk and tufted gray, and the cardinals
beautifully paired in their marriage
of subtle and brash, I have to read
the same sentence seven times,
then finally give up and study instead
the suggestions of bright red flashing
as house finches occupy the feeder.
On my lap an essay explaining
Dickinson's deft ironies, elusive
dashes and slants, so dense I have to stop
wanting to get to the end, the bottom
of anything, and just live in the drift
of phrase and clause, until once again
a feathered thing—a nuthatch heading down
a rutted trunk—catches my eye, and I
am torn like an old uneasy treaty,
within a single mind two tribes dwelling,
people of the book, yes, but also others
literate in seed husk, rain slant, cloud,
a thousand twittering tongues.
—from Late Psalm, Univ. Wisconsin Press
Betsy Sholl served as Poet Laureate of Maine from 2006 to 2011. Her eighth collection of poetry, Otherwise Unseeable (University of Wisconsin), won the 2015 Maine Literary Award for poetry. She currently teaches in the MFA Program of Vermont College of Fine Arts, and lives in Portland.