(Poem #168) A Dead Mole
Strong-shouldered mole, That so much lived below the ground, Dug, fought and loved, hunted and fed, For you to raise a mound Was as for us to make a hole; What wonder now that being dead Your body lies here stout and square Buried within the blue vault of the air?
1939. You know how it is when you're looking at one of those trick photos which have two interpretations (like the silhouetted profiles / flower vase thingy), and suddenly the image resolves itself into a whole new picture? Well, sometimes poetry is like that. Sometimes (not often, but sometimes) poems have a way of jolting the reader into a whole new appreciation of reality - seeing the extraordinary in the mundane, reversing commonly held perceptions, finding new truths in unlikely places... I love the inversion of perspective in the last line of today's poem. Suddenly, what seemed to be an ordinary-enough poem about an ordinary-enough event is given the force of a revelation. Powerful, and thought-provoking. thomas. [Followup / Links] For another take on how poets bring out the unfamiliar in the everyday, read the Martian poetry of Craig Raine (and Vikram Doctor's excellent commentary on it) at poem #131 All our previous poems can also be read on the Web, at http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/ [Biography] A completely anonymous poet... several web-searches revealed no background information about Andrew Young, apart from the fact that he was presumably alive in 1939, when this poem was written. I'd appreciate mail from anyone who knows who the guy is/was.