Sunday, November 8, 2015

A call from David Ferry

Mr Ferry has figured here
repeatedly, as a transla-
tor so gifted in the Clas-
sics as to allow reliance 
on him as if he were cox-
swain to our crew (is this
not love?); and as a poet
in his own right, captur-
ing synapses of the mind
as we tend ourselves, ten-
tatively, to know it. But
is the mind alone in that
lithe and questing boat?

Probably the German langu-
age has a noun for a ves-
sel straining with deter-
mination and delight. I
wish I knew it; or maybe,
I do.

We climb into this season
with our sinews polished
by the last, to figure why
there's still a question,
only to exult in complica-

   Now the tree 
   that had been stone
   is stone again.

   Another age
   With notice none
   Of what had gone

  And come again,
  And every tide
  Registers on

  The roaring page
  The change of bone
  To ice, and stone

  To flower, and sea.

David Ferry
Of No Country I Know
  New and Selected Poems
  and Translations
    By the Sea Shore
University of Chicago Press, 1999©

i  Kris Kislop

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