Poem of the Week
February – not everywhere
Such days, when trees run downwind,
their arms stretched before them
Such days, when the sun’s in a drawer
and the drawer locked.
When the meadow is dead, is a carpet,
thin and shabby, with no pattern
and at bus stops people retract into collars
their faces like fists.
– And when, in a firelit room, a mother looks
at her four seasons, at her little boy
in the center of everything, with still pools
of shadows and a fire throwing flowers.
By Norman Mac Caige
Norman Mac Caige was a Scottish poet whose death anniversary was in January. He wrote poems of short fabric, and his verses hardly surpassed the single sheet of his typewriter. Redrafting, elimination, and editing of original manuscripts were not meant for him. His first and last draft came to him in the morning and he used to forget about it in the afternoon. For him poems are not only measurement of emotional diving but they are also incessant search of intellectual energy.
Enter wit and humor are typical traits of him which helped in the creation of Norman’s classical laughter.
In his February poem, he talks about locking the sun in a drawer. In Scotland, wintertime the climate is moderate and unpredictable. It changes swiftly and it is not uncommon to experience all four seasons in one day. February is wintertime in Scotland and in this poem we see winter reflecting in the dead meadow, fist- like faces, retracted collars, trees bearing tepidly the wind and sun locked in a drawer–witty metaphors!
But as he says February is not everywhere, in a firelit room of one of the coldest months of Scotland, the mother looks at her son, emotional whirling of all four seasons inflicts her, and in surrounding they all four are metamorphosed at the same time in form of fire, flower, stillness, and shadow.
Dr. Pragya Suman
Photo Courtsey: Rightfully Owner