Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Light Quarterly No. 50; Richard Wakefield, "On Dogshead"

Light Quarterly no. 50, Autumn 2005, does conclude with a poem of mine, "Habit," but that's not what I want to share here. First of all, I just want to recommend this magazine, which I have been subscribing to for several years now, and which I always enjoy. On the whole, the number of poems that stick with me from this journal is as high as (or in many case much higher than) the number that stick with me from more "serious" journals. And the ones that don't stay with me are at least funny!

Secondly, I want to share this sonnet by the featured poet in this issue, Richard Wakefield:


The rock formation there we're standing on
was known as Dogshead, jutting from the side
of Mount St. Helens. Now, of course, it's gone,
along with half the mountain, in a slide
that took out trees for twenty miles downstream.
This was taken in seventy-four, six years
before the mountain blew, and don't we seem
secure up there, triumphant mountaineers?
It's strange to think we stood a thousand feet
above the present summit. A single blast,
a sudden welling up of buried heat,
and all this mountain fell so far, so fast.
I look back on that climb we're resting from—
our innocence, not knowing what would come.

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