Thursday, June 9, 2016

Poetry Month, Day 9, D.G. Jones, "Beautiful Creatures Brief as These"

You might know - I don't know if I've mentioned it, but if you know me outside of this blog then you know - I'm Canadian, and my first degree, which is in English Literature (I'm qualified to write this stuff, y'all!), came from a Canadian university. Part of that degree was a course on Canadian poetry, and the text we used was 15 Canadian Poets X2, edited by Gary Geddes. It contains, as the title suggests (in an oddly convoluted sort of way) the work of 30 poets. Here is one by D.G. Jones, chosen at random:

Beautiful Creatures Brief as These 

for Jay Macpherson

Like butterflies but lately come 
From long cocoons of summer 
These little girls start back to school 
To swarm the sidewalks, playing field 
And litter with colour. 

So light they look within their clothes 
Their dresses looser than Sulphur's wings, 
It seems that even if the wind alone 
Were not to break them in the lofty trees 
They could not bear the weight of things

And yet they cry into the morning air 
And hang from railings upside down 
And laugh, as though the world were theirs 
And all its buildings, trees, and stones 
Were toys, were gifts from a benignant sun. 


This one is lovely to read aloud, there are subtle little half-rhymes and the rhythm is pleasing. The images are delicate, and remind me of various campuses in Fall (and, also, in the Spring as it happens).