Monday, March 3, 2014

Touching poem by Anne Carson

Poem of the Day: Father's Old Blue Cardigan

Now it hangs on the back of the kitchen chair   
where I always sit, as it did
on the back of the kitchen chair where he always sat.

I put it on whenever I come in,   
as he did, stamping   
the snow from his boots.

I put it on and sit in the dark.   
He would not have done this.
Coldness comes paring down from the moonbone in the sky.

His laws were a secret.
But I remember the moment at which I knew   
he was going mad inside his laws.

He was standing at the turn of the driveway when I arrived.
He had on the blue cardigan with the buttons done up all the way to the top.
Not only because it was a hot July afternoon

but the look on his face—
as a small child who has been dressed by some aunt early in the morning
for a long trip

on cold trains and windy platforms
will sit very straight at the edge of his seat   
while the shadows like long fingers

over the haystacks that sweep past   
keep shocking him   
because he is riding backwards.

Anne Carson, "Father's Old Blue Cardigan" from Men in the Off Hours. Copyright © 1991 by Anne Carson. Reprinted with the permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

1 comment:

  1. Great poem. She unburies (a word?) deep emotional memories and leaves much to expand on. I'd like to hear all these chair in the dark, secret laws, aunt- long trip, haystack shadows.....all very provocative.