a poem inspired by Robert Hayden's poem, "Winter Sundays"
The anniversary of my dad's death is tomorrow, and I've been thinking to myself: how, exactly, did I know him beyond his human circumstances? He had a spirit, just like the rest of us. What did I know of his more eternal identity, the one that just took residence in skin and bone for a while?
By his actions, of course.
Thanks for making that so clear.
Hits me right in the heart...
Thank you for this. My parents were not the best but there are good things they did. Your poem makes me think of them
I love this substack!
That poem about your dad is lovely. Truly an act of love. Thank you
Good Lord. This moves me.
This is lovely!
I am sorry to have burdened you, but it is an amazing work. Yes, "the terrible power"!
So beautiful on so many levels <3
Thank you Sherman. Like every time you write of your father, it brings me to tears remembering all my father did for me. He died long before I was ready. Your and Arvel's song Father and Farther always brings tears to my eyes. Not painful tears, but tears of remembrance.
Isn’t it sad that we often see too late? A human condition poorly timed.
Thank you for two beautiful poems, Sherman. How I wish I could have been appreciative toward my parents as a teenager, particularly my Dad, who was great parent. He died way too young, when I was 17 and a selfish teenager, so the window of opportunity to thank him for all he did for me and my sister, closed pretty quickly.
Father’s often say ‘I love you’ without SAYING I love you. I think of my dad, walking to my first job to meet me with an umbrella on a stormy night. I wish I was the man then that I became much later. I wish that I thanked him and walked home with my arm around his shoulder. I wish that I had thanked him for his kindness. For his thoughtfulness. For teaching me in his quiet and soft way to be a kind and gentle man. It took me many years to become this man. The one who maybe finally deserves to be his son.
I first found his poetry when I started teaching a poetry class just after graduating college. Amazingly, none of my profs ever covered his work! I was fascinated by his use of language, particularly in his poem "The Whipping." I still feel both repulsed and drawn in through the language he uses in this piece. His portrayal of the abusive parent seeking satisfaction is alarmingly truthful and terrifying and perfectly rendered in the poem.
I love Hayden's poem (and yours too)! I have always loved an author's creation of new words that clearly communicate. Hayden's "blue-black cold" is one of my favorite created phrases.
Thanks for sharing this.