Monday, December 15, 2014

Mark Svenvold: "Relearning Winter"

Hello Winter, hello flanneled
blanket of clouds, clouds
fueled by more clouds, hello again.

Hello afternoons,
off to the west, that silver
of sunset, rust-colored
and gone too soon.

And night (I admit to a short memory)
you climb back in with chilly fingers
and clocks, and there is no refusal:
ice cracks the water main, the garden hose
stiffens, the bladed leaves of the rhododendron
shine in the fog of a huge moon.

And rain, street lacquer,
oily puddles and spinning rubber,
mist of angels on the head of a pin,

and snow, upside-down cake of clouds,
white, freon scent, you build
even as you empty the world of texture—
hello to this new relief,
this new solitude now upon us,
upon which we feed.

"Relearning Winter" by Mark Svenvold. Text as published in Soul Data: Poems. (University of North Texas Press, 1998).

Art credit: "Black Ice," photograph taken on January 31, 2011, by © Alexander Ipfelkofer.



  1. Didn't he mean "sliver" of sunset, not "silver" of sunset?

    1. Ah, you caught a typo. Thank you! I'll make the correction.


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