Monday, April 28, 2014
NPM: Foxes, Volume 1
In my perpetual search for the perfect poems to share (and not just to write), I've found a depressing lack of poems about foxes. Because I just freaking love foxes. Now, before you roll your eyes and tell me that I'm just a dumb hipster obsessed with foxes, give me some credit. I've always loved foxes--okay, and cows and elephants and robins. Typically I like them for absolutely no reason, I just think they're visually inspiring, or just stinkin' adorable. I used to like foxes for no reason but now I like them for several reasons. (And none of them have anything to do with that unmentionable song.)
I'll give you just one reason: people think foxes are sneaky, clever, and sometimes "deceitful." The truth is that foxes are creative, and they always find a way to survive. As a Christian, I don't necessarily condone "deceit" to get your way, or value cleverness above compassion... but as a person who has had her share of suffering, and a person who thrives on creativity, I resonate with the idea of creative survival tactics.
So I like foxes for a reason, and I wanted to find some fox poems, and I just narrowly succeeded. Most of the fox poems I found were about hunting foxes, or weren't really about foxes at all. But I'm three days behind, so I'll share a few.
This first one (for 4/26/14) is by Ted Hughes, British poet laureate and husband of the late Sylvia Plath. I could let you figure it out for yourself, but I have to admit (and therefore give away) the wonderful and slightly eerie truth behind this poem. It's a poem about writing poems. I love it. If you click here you can actually listen to Ted Hughes reading it, and it is beautiful.
The Thought Fox
I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock’s loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.
Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:
Cold, delicately as the dark snow,
A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now
Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come
Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Coming about its own business
Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.
This next poem (for 4/27/14) is by Jane Hirshfield. I don't know much about this poet, although I do particularly enjoy her poem 'For What Binds Us.' She also wrote this somewhat haunting poem about foxes.
Three Foxes by the Edge of the Field at Twilight
her nose to the ground,
a rusty shadow
neither hunting nor playing.
One stood; sat; lay down; stood again.
One never moved,
except to turn her head a little as we walked.
Finally we drew too close,
and they vanished.
The woods took them back as if they had never been.
I wish I had thought to put my face to the grass.
But we kept walking,
speaking as strangers do when becoming friends.
There is more and more I tell no one,
strangers nor loves.
This slips into the heart
without hurry, as if it had never been.
And yet, among the trees, something has changed.
Something looks back from the trees,
and knows me for who I am.
For today's poem.... one from me, about foxes. Well, just one fox. I have another one coming tomorrow, one longer and possibly more fantastic, but I'm tired.
Driving Alone Through Hawthorn
In solitary darkness
the stationary moon
sweeps silklike over
your fur, swinging light
over your swift, silent paws.
You see me, I see you
and your shining eyes.
All around you the world
shimmers and shivers
because you are a red
streak against silver
and then you are gone.