Saturday, February 28, 2015

It Skids Away and Drops into Its Own Skeleton

No, I didn't forget. Click Nemerov tag for many more poems.

Howard Nemerov was lucky enough to be born on February 29th, since March 1 belongs to Chopin and Richard Wilbur, I give today to Nemerov, born 23.75 years ago if you only count February 29ths.


This admirable gadget, when it is
Wound on a string and spun with steady force,   
Maintains its balance on most any smooth
Surface, pleasantly humming as it goes.
It is whirled not on a constant course, but still   
Stands in unshivering integrity
For quite some time, meaning nothing perhaps   
But being something agreeable to watch,   
A silver nearly silence gleaning a still-
ness out of speed, composing unity   
From spin, so that its hollow spaces seem   
Solids of light, until it wobbles and   
Begins to whine, and then with an odd lunge   
Eccentric and reckless, it skids away   
And drops dead into its own skeleton.