Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Freshman Poem of the Week

The Evolution of a Poem :: Part 1

For the next four days your get four sequential drafts of the same poem. It's really interesting to see how much a poem can change. My prof was all about finding the essence of a poem.

The Hand Reaches Down

It’s that classic movie scene.
There I am:
Clinging to the edge of a crumbling cliff
The raging waters
The fiery lava
The black abyss below
The Hand that reaches down
The Friend planted on solid ground

The cliff’s edge shakes, cracks, crumbles,
My courage with it
The Hand is there, just within a lunging grasp.

What makes me so afraid to let go—
To unclench my slipping fingers
And reach
Stretch up for the Hand?

Somehow it’s reasonable
Everything within me would rather cling to death
Than risk Life.

But the Hand reaches farther down
And when my cliff finally breaks away
When my grip fails
When I panic
Flailing about at the empty, unforgiving air
Ignoring still the Hand
He pulls me up by the heart.

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