Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Wow. Check out this poem by Erica Funkhouser. Look at all the delicious words! Rawky, croodled, sprent, scrowed, swopped, sinkfoil, throstles, chelped, furze, jargonels, progged, girlish hand, sturted. I love it.


Words for Winter

That oddling, John Clare
all one rawky winter in Helpston,
croodled with cold,
took to scratching his thoughts
on shop papers
still sprent with tea leaves and soap.

Huddled above the tinder
of remembered summers,
he scrowed row upon row
of lovesick words until swallows
swopped into sinkfoil
and throstles chelped in the furze.
In the collar of a pear tree,
a young prince feasted on jargonels.

Called by his pa to collect kindling,
Clare progged his poems in a hole
in the cottage wall. His ma went hunting:
What was he up to now?
How many hours had he wasted
practicing his girlish hand?
She crumped the boy's scribbles
into whips and sturted her fire.


-- Erica Funkhouser, from Earthly

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4 comments:

Pamela said...

This is great? (Speaking of great, do you know there's a just released Patti Smith documentary?)

Collin said...

Hell, yes, I love this.

Peter said...

P: I had not heard of the Patti Smith doc. Thanks for the heads up!

Ron Slate said...

Terrific of you to direct attention to Funkhouser's work. Before I reviewed EARTHLY on my site a few months ago, I went back and read all of her books. She's such an accomplished poet -- and brings a complex mind to the materials of the countryside.