Thursday, March 26, 2015

Charles Bane Jr.'s The Chapbook — Robert Frost

Robert Frost homestead in Vermont through the 1920s.
The Robert Frost Stone House Museum in South Shaftsbury, Vermont.

What does it mean, in the end?
Am I the wood I dreamed,
a handsomeness of gold and shadow
girls reach to with a hand?

No, I am a moment at a Chautauqua
when inhabitants gather round a bandshell.
For a moment I am aired by a girl
or boy of creamy face
and made alive in a nervous pace.

The men listen for a hint of something true,
wives raise a finger to lips and
children at once are quiet
and finish their ice cream.

I say that their town will disappear at night
into the surrounding prairie
like a star from a highboard into a swimming pool below
and the arch and upraised arms and legs pressed just so
is an act of gracefulness, or bowl they should sup from
as it stands plain on table and catches summer sweat.

The recitation’s done;
my ashes are scattered overthe fairgrounds,
and my white hair drifts overhead and
away from there.

— Charles Bane, Jr.

As many of us continue to walk through snow, be there woods or not, we are reminded by Charles' poem that today — March 26 — is the birthday of the poet Robert Frost.

A winner on four occasions of the Pulitzer Prize, Frost was first honored for his 1924 collection, New Hampshire: A Poem With Notes and Grace Notes which contains his best known poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Frost wrote the poem on a hot summer morning — after writing through the night — at his house in Shaftsbury, Vermont.

Robert Frost is the latest installment in the serialization of Charles' 2011 volume of poetry The Chapbook (Curbside Splendor). Part of a year-long journey, we share and explore Charles' other passion — his poetry — with you, our readers, twice monthly.

Charles is also the author of Love Poems (Kelsay Books, 2014). His work has been described in the Huffington Post as "not only standing on the shoulders of giants, but shrinking them." He created the Meaning of Poetry series for The Gutenberg Project and is a current nominee as Poet Laureate of Florida. A new collection of poetry, The Ends Of The Earth is currently taking shape. 

We thank Charles for his continuing contributions and wish him well in the publishing of a collection of short fiction entitled, For Whom The Bell Tolls: The Sequel And Other Stories.

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