Winter 1981 • Vol. III No. 1 Poetry |

Three Poems: Snow

Against thin woods, Siberian snow steadily erases objects from their names, like weevils in flour rocks crawl under the elms. There is a place whose year is February. A red bird on a branch is the one leaf for acres. Ruffled at where it's gone, the Tartar-gold, collapsing canopy of autumn, it repeats one cry simply to punctuate oblivion, a hillock-hopping, crimson cardinal darting Virginia in disbelief. The blizzard brushes out its airy echo back to the original blankness of paper that must not be marred, but the bird thrusts itself on, the wings splay in scary limping through enormous calm, leaving prints on the page in bird-Cyrillic. Through whirling syllables it is like the lyric voice not settled on a style, or silence in the mind of Mandelstam.

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Derek Walcott published numerous collections of poetry, as well as plays and essays. He received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature, and was a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award winner.

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