The vote for the Poetry Daily poems from Tuesday, April 11, to Monday, April 17, took place this morning. Once again, all seven poems received votes, but this time the votes were distributed more evenly, with no poem receiving more than four, and there was no first-round winner: "Dowsing for Joy," by Floyd Skloot and "Springtime, 1998," by Hayden Carruth tied for first with four votes. A runoff vote was necessary, and the winner was Carruth's poem, nine to eight.
In both the main vote and the runoff, I voted for Skloot's poem, in which a dowser discusses how dowsing works:
He says there are signs everywhere,
obvious things that most of us simply miss
like the scent of blooming lilies carried on air,
or hidden fields of force that call us home
when we can no longer bear to be alone.
What is music but waves plucked from the sky [...]?
For me, John Koethe's "Hamlet" (which received three votes) was quite striking, as Koethe's biography is uncannily like mine: off to college to study physics, he finds the courses disappointing:
................................instead of paradox and mystery
And heroic flights of speculation that came true,
You had to start with classical mechanics and a lab ...
So he ends up studying philosophy and writing poetry. The poem is also interesting because it reveals the existence of a DVD of Richard Burton playing Hamlet in a stage production!