September 19, 2008

Poetry Friday: A Shadow Borne Lightly

God in the Details
by Mike White

I’ve seen to it that ants
carry their dead

in the ceremonial style
of a great long poem

but the distances
are manageable

and how heavy
after all is an ant

when I am myself
a shadow borne

so lightly

Mike White is a Utah poet whose work has appeared in journals including Verse, Poetry, Margie, Fulcrum, The Antioch Review, The Iowa Review, The New Republic, and The Threepenny Review. I'm not able to find much more about him - but I'm looking.

Poetry Friday today is at author amok. Don't miss Jules' discovery of William Stafford's elegant "prayer of a poem;" something you may find yourself reading over and over again.


divatobe said...

Beautifully said.

Anonymous said...

I just got chills all over from this one, and not just 'cause fall is in the air. I love this!

Elaine Magliaro said...


I love both the poem and its title.

Anonymous said...

What a find. So spare... This poet knows the limits of words, and knows how to fill just a few to the brim with meaning.

jama said...

What a great poem -- far-reaching thoughts in so few words.

Sarah Stevenson said...

What a beautiful and somehow heart-wrenching poem.

It almost makes me feel sorry for those little ants I keep massacring on my kitchen counter...almost...

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Oh I love that, too. It invokes the same emotions for me that others have touched upon sad, yet so beautiful. Such perfect economy of words, too. Jama nails it with "far-reaching." There's a lot here. I wanna hang it up and keep studying/pondering it.

How nice to link to Stafford. What a gift that poem is, huh?

Sara said...

"in the ceremonial style/of a great long poem" ahh. How ironic he doesn't need a great long poem to carry his thoughts from out there to us. Just ants. Love it.

Yat-Yee said...

so sparse, yet says so much and lingers so long after. Love it.

Karen Edmisten said...

Oh, I like this so much -- echoing others here, but there's so much in so little. He's new to me. Thanks, Tadmack!

Anonymous said...

Those last three lines--lovely!