Friday, June 19, 2009

Poetry Friday: From "The Grand Canyon"

I've never seen the Grand Canyon. In a couple of weeks I will be there, looking over the edge, legs most likely feeling like rubber, but heart and mind awed by the imposing view. I searched for a poem that would prepare me. Here is an excerpt from a poem by Jean Garrigue. I felt the entire poem a bit long for this venue but the middle was just what I was searching for. Excuse me while I go practice pronouncing violaceous, mirlitons, and rachitic...

The Grand Canyon
Jean Garrigue

…when I came to the edge and looked over:
violaceous, vermillion
great frontal reefs, buttes,
cliffs of rufous and ocher angles,
promontories, projections, jutments, outjuttings
and gnarled mirlitons, so it seemed
twisting up out of depth beyond depth
gnarled like the juniper tree
rachitic with wind I hung on to
as the raven’s wing, glassy in the light of its black,
slid over me

there at the edge of this maw, gash
deepest in the world that a river has made
through an upwarp in the earth’s crust,
thickets of tens of thousands of gorges eaten out
by freezing and thawing, tempests, waterspouts,
squalls and falls of the river
with its boulders, pebbles, silt and sand sawing down
through the great cake of geologic time,
eight layers laid bare,
the total effect creating what geometrical effect
in a rocky silence so clear
a bird’s voice, even a boy’s
is sponged out, sucked up by this stillness
stinging, overpowering the ear,
pure condition of the original echoing soundlessness
this voluminous wrung resonance
welling up out of the handiwork
of the demiurge wrestling down there
in an infinity of imperceptible events…

To read the whole poem, go to:

This week's Poetry Friday roundup is being hosted by Carol Wilcox at Carol's Corner.

1 comment:

Color Online said...

I can't pronounce half the words. ((smile))I have never been to the Grand Canyon but I get a sense of the awe is must inspire. Thanks for sharing this.