Sunday, December 08, 2013

Donne, They Say - John Savoie

Yesterday on the Milton List appeared a link to a poem by John Savoie, and because I had a bit of time, I clicked on the link and was taken to Poetry Daily, where I read his poem:
Donne, They Say

Donne, they say, duelled death,
preached his own funeral,
hymned his own requiem,
then slid his sunken corpse
into the clear flowing stream.
So let us breathe our own
elegy, weave our own shroud,
or spread and billow the blanket,
then sneak beneath like laughing
children before it falls,
and there we'll sleep, hand in hand,
as bladed grass beneath the snow.
The site Poetry Daily apparently borrowed it from the poetry journal ellipsis (Volume 49, 2013). Anyway, I liked it and so posted to the Milton List my reading of a line I liked:
I like the way "as bladed grass beneath the snow" picks up on "duelled death" -- as though Donne's duel with death goes on and on, including all of us undone ones grappling with our own mortality . . .
Matthew Jordan liked the way I liked it:
That is a lovely point regarding what is at least a very competent poem, if that doesn't sound too faint as far as praise goes.
I don't think the praise of Savoie's poem too faint -- allowing that "very competent" shades over into "excellent," which it probably does, given Dr. Jordan's possibly British understatement.

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