Saturday, November 9, 2013

If you had wings

If you had wings, what would you do with them?

I would fly out to the ice edge and see who passes there, what the hooded mergansers fish.
I would watch snow melt in the sea.
I would fly to the hilltop and watch the sun rise over all 72 islands in the Baie des Isles.
The eagle and I would meet in an updraft and I would stare him down:
         my current, my space; I'm here: don't bother me now.
         Go find your own air.
That settled, I would carry on.

This poem, if it is a poem (perhaps it is a draft for a poem), emerged out of an exercise that I gave a writing class a couple of years ago; it is based on a poem entitled "Wings" by Susan Stewart. One of my favourite poems--up there with Neruda's Estravagario and his Book of Questions, Stewart's poem is an interview based upon the question, "if you could have wings would you want them?"  I changed the question slightly, and then, of course, had to try to answer it myself.

(For some English translations of some of Neruda's poems see

1 comment:

  1. Well you have sails which is almost as good as wings and lets you get as close to golden eagle's wings as anyone.