Winter Journal: Gray Shadings

By Emily Wilson b. 1968 Emily Wilson
Barely discerned clouds
Hard, hard to get here
what worth, what worth
River of steel.
River of no one becoming you.
Trees that are emptier today, more forced in their forms
To focus on them is to be made glad of them in their
       strangeness
The earth extrudes through them toward emptiness
The few elms dismembering
The willow’s bloom above shore like a curtaining
To focus on it is to be mostly taken into its tapes
       and its filters
It is lost to the surface of this river
The dull, impenetrable, intractable surface
resisting, unetchable
Now the faint rain.
I don’t know what to do with all this waiting
things getting themselves readied toward emptiness
The scratchy, shattering elm, its crimped skin, its
       exfoliating, its rivening
       its being disfigured by fortune
       and by wind
A crone with old frills at her hair
The grasp of her toward me

Emily Wilson, “Winter Journal: Gray Shadings” reprinted from The Keep. With permission Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2001.

Source: The Keep (University of Iowa Press, 2001)

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Poet Emily Wilson b. 1968

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Winter, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals

Biography

Emily Wilson was born in Ohio and grew up in Maine; she was educated at Harvard University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her collections of poetry include The Keep (2001); Morpho terrestre (2006), a limited-edition book with prints by Sara Langworthy; and Micrographia (2009). Poet James Galvin noted in the Boston Review that Wilson’s poetry matches “wildness of diction with precision of sense.”
 
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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Winter, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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