Poetry | The Poet’s Forge


The Poet’s Forge

©2019 Vernon Miles Kerr,  vernonmileskerr.com

When I think of a forge, I first think of old, bronze Vulcan, at the top of his tower, hammer raised, on a hill overlooking Birmingham, Alabama, my place of nativity. Having first seen him when I was five years old it left a distinct impression.  Like a poem, this work of monumental sculpture implied much more than the mere outward form of the work — even for a near-infant.  In my mind I sensed the rivulets of perspiration on his grimy up-stretched arm and anticipated the crashing clang of the hammer blow.  That clang still echoed in my mind one morning, when I stood at the base of Vulcan’s tower 60 years later.

Beyond the metaphor of sculpture-as-poem, there is that parallel of the poetic process as smithery — a poem being heated, pounded, annealed, quenched, hammered more, until perfect — dross removed, complete.  Here is a vignette into that  forging process.  My original version of the poem “Can a Crocus Bloom” and the latest version, hot from the forge:

Can a Crocus Bloom … (copied to WordPress 11/2/2018)

© 2018 Vernon Miles Kerr

 

Can a crocus bloom in desert’s searing sand;

Or Altruism spring from our primate-surly band?

Could Love, that agape of old, that outward-flowing care

For others, arise from merely wishing it so?

Or was it a gift, bestowed by the loving hands,

Of some gardener, long ago;

A seed, planted in unlikely soil,

So that when it flourished

It would confound–

And astonish?

 

Can a Crocus Bloom … (re-worked 6/26/19

© 2019 Vernon Miles Kerr

 

Can a crocus bloom in desert’s searing sand;

Or Altruism spring from our primate-surly band?

Could Love — Agape of old — that outward-flowing

Care, arise from merely wishing so?

Or was it a gift, bestowed by loving hands,

Of some hopeful gardener many eons ago;

An unlikely seed, planted in unlikely soil,

So that when it flourished

It would confound–

And astonish?

 

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