It seems impossible that it is already the third Thursday of the month… and yet it is. And I have a poem to share with you all today (plus one to listen to, if you so desire!) I had originally imagined that I would find something to share from the stack of poetry books on my desk. I am working my way through Ada Limón’s The Hurting Kind – again. And loving it more than the first time I read it! I am also reading a poem or two from Wendell Berry’s The Peach of Wild Things…which for me is Poetry Meditation.
I had a lovely list of poems to choose from, but then I discovered Carter Revard and I then knew that he would be the perfect poet for November. I have listened to this episode of Poetry For All multiple times… Revard’s poem What the Eagle Fan Says is so beautiful. And so I began the search for Carter Revard poetry… I first started here (which has not been updated, Mr. Revard died in January) and I was surprised that so little of his poetry was posted anywhere online.
No worries, because my library has one of his books and I picked it up this week. And so I began reading… beautiful poetry intertwined with equally beautiful stories. He was a Rhodes Scholar and I especially love his poems from his time at Oxford. The poem I am sharing today is from that time period… this is a poem that will linger with me long after I have read it. And though, I have never been to the Isle of Sky, Mr. Revard makes me feel like I have.
October, Isle of Skye
by Carter Revard
Wading up Brunigill’s rush
for a long time is a question
of where to place each boot
on a rock that will hold, advance,
of not slipping on moss-slime’s
green blackness under the swashing
of water past boots—
then eyes raise to a pool
too golden-deep for boots,
and before climbing around it, pause
and stretch and look down through
the amber lucence where
slow gold-lit ripplings touch
white crystals in rockbed,
till a rowan-berry comes bobbing,
red-round and lightly,
to ride through the pool—
then boots go up over sheep-paths
to the heathery ridge and
a bumblebee knee-brushed from
purple paper-firm bells
drops wet and stunned,
chill mist on her wings,
tumbles in browning blossoms
and on her back caught
in the jungle of heather her front legs
rise drowned and waking, hook
slowly a heather-twig, pull
the fur-body up as antennae wag
through green and amber sensing
late pollen, nectar
for bee-bread in burrows—
and light changes dazzling
in downstream mist,
while newlit water
birdshrills and gurgles,
and down again climbing
bootplace by bootplace
to the stream and
its rowanberry raft
by moss-edge of pool—
that from scarlet seed
over amber movement
a green tree may sway.
October, Isle of Skye by Carter Revard from An Eagle Nation, published by The University of Arizona Press © 1993
I want to thank Bonny for providing the space for us to share our poems! And we’d love for you to join us if you have a poem to share…and I hope you do!
See you all back here on Monday!
What a lovely, evocative poem, Kat! (It brings me fond memories of my brief time on the Isle of Skye . . . such a lovely, magical place in every season.) Thanks for sharing this poem — and introducing me to Carter Revard. XO
Thank you for the introduction to a new-to-me poet, Carter Revard! What the Eagle Fan Says is lovely and evocative, and I absolutely love the language he uses in October, Isle of Skye. I know what you mean; I feel like I was wading up Brunigill’s rush with him. I will be looking for more poetry by Carter Revard at my library.
Wow. The imagery in that poem! I can feel myself in that moment in that place. Amazing!
Beautiful. I especially love the lines about the bee. He is also a new-to-me poet. Thanks Kat!
That poem really creates a lovely picture.
Wow – this poem makes me want to go for a nice, long walk. I love this! And now you’ve encouraged me to resume my Peace of Wild Things collection. Wendell Berry speaks my love language and maybe Carter Revard does too??
I never heard of him, thank you! I love when you share poems you come across 🙂
What a lovely poem by a new to me poet.