Monday, 8 December 2014

Day 872: The Silent Poem


Well this is one unique poem. I was intrigued by the title of it and checked it out with the burning question in mind -  how can a poem be silent exactly? 

Well as you can see (and hear), it uses no sentences, no linking words at all, (no hands!) just a list of say-what-you-see observations, just the nouns alone as your mind recognises them upon encountering. How silence would speak in other words, which begs the question -  is there really such a thing as silence when the mind is constantly registering what it sees? Even though there's no traditional syntax here, no lyrical or metrical tweaking, (although the words are all lovely sounding compound words), a poem it is.  Conjuring not just a scene but a feeling, a landscape of the mind, as visual as it is veritable. 

The Silent Poem - Robert Francis 

backroad leafmold stonewall chipmunk
underbrush grapevine woodchuck shadblow

woodsmoke cowbarn honeysuckle woodpile
sawhorse bucksaw outhouse wellsweep

backdoor flagstone bulkhead buttermilk
candlestick ragrug firedog brownbread

hilltop outcrop cowbell buttercup
whetstone thunderstorm pitchfork steeplebush

gristmill millstone cornmeal waterwheel
watercress buckwheat firefly jewelweed

gravestone groundpine windbreak bedrock
weathercock snowfall starlight cockcrow 

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