Thursday, February 6, 2020

Carl Dennis

I have begun to think of life as a series of ripples widening out from an original center.
~Seamus Heaney

Carl Dennis wrote a bunch of poems that knock my socks off. Here's one:

by Carl Dennis

If on your grandmother's birthday you burn a candle
To honor her memory, you might think of burning an extra
To honor the memory of someone who never met her,
A man who may have come to the town she lived in
Looking for work and never found it.
Picture him taking a stroll one morning,
After a month of grief with the want ads,
To refresh himself in the park before moving on.
Suppose he notices on the gravel path the shards
Of a green glass bottle that your grandmother,
Then still a girl, will be destined to step on
When she wanders barefoot away from her school picnic
If he doesn't stoop down and scoop the mess up
With the want-ad section and carry it to a trash can.

For you to burn a candle for him...

read the rest here

photo by Sam Galison


I also love Book Fair and Thanksgiving Letter from Harry, among others.

Writing the World for Kids has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Laura!


Irene Latham said...

So many unknown people make differences in our lives... yes, I want to light a candle for each and every one, warm the world with flickers for each and every one... thank you, Tabatha! xo

jama said...

Thanks for introducing me to Carl Dennis! Love the poem, how his narrative leads from one thing to another, small actions with lasting consequences. Great food for thought. A novel idea to consider the unknown people who may impact our lives.

Janice Scully said...

There are so many we never see that help us and those we love, and yet so many pretend as if they don't exist. Thank you for sharing Carl Dennis. What a great poet.

laurasalas said...

What a lovely "butterfly effect" poem. Thank you, Tabatha!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

This poem gave me chills to think about... all those pay it forward blessings, most of them small and anonymous.

jan godown annino said...

Makes me think of To The Unknown Soldier, too. How evocative. I pause now to think of the silent ones I'll never know who did the Right Thing that paved a smooth way. Appreciations, Tabatha.

Linda B said...

I've never stopped loving the small connections in our daily lives that (unknown to us) have made our lives what they are. This is very special, Tabatha.

Kay said...

Wow! This one knocks my socks off, too.

KatApel - said...

Oh what a wonderful powerful quiet moment in poetry. It IS important that we recognise the people around us. Especially the unseen. And take that time to brighten their day in some way. (A smile can mean so much.) You are the perfect person to share this poem, Tabatha - because you quietly brighten others' days. xx

Ruth said...

I love this! It makes my head spin to think of all the people who have touched my life, some of whom I will never be aware of.

michelle kogan said...

Fascinating poem Tabatha, I like the what if twists and turns, and connections between people that he creates here, all the while bringing you back to the beginning, thanks!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Wow, wow, wow--so subtle the storytelling! I seem to remember loving another one by him...did you share his work earlier? SO. MANY. POETS. to discover!

Buffy Silverman said...

Wow--that's an amazing story of a poem. All those what if imaginings.

Linda Mitchell said...

That was an incredible story-poem. I want more. NOW!