So much modern poetry is characterized by detachment and irony. It’s as if a poet who displays ecstacy in his or her poetry is too simple or naive to be taken seriously. This seems especially true in acandemic poetry, which appears locked into a post-modern T.S. Elliot style of beauty twisted in cruelty (April is the cruelest month, breeding/lilacs out of the dead land…) Technically brilliant, without a doubt, and yet in a way dead.
So I will expose myself to the charge of naivete by declaring myself, at least occasionally, a poet of ecstacy.
There’s the sun coming up underneath
a deck of clouds, roaring out ofKansas,
painting the peaks of the Front Range red
On this December morning as I drive
to work, tired and worried about money,
pissed off at everything, tired of telling myself
this job matters, knowing
I’ll never find anything better.
And then, there’s that sun,
coming up under the clouds, slapping me
upside the head and right out
of my funk.
Brothers and sisters, don’t lose faith!
The sun still comes up every morning and now,
on the shortest day of the year, it’s shining across the land,
making a kaleidoscope of the stone chips in the windshield.
The wind kicks up a devil of dust and leaves,
and the leaves and dust climb the spiral of wind towards
a flight of geese, as the sun breaks free
of the horizon and sets the clouds afire
and the underwings of the geese beat
silver and black, silver and black,
climbing into the dawn.