now i get it

I have recently started keeping a copy of a Heath Introduction to Poetry, a survey-type text, one I received as an examination copy when teaching 101, on the car seat next to me. When I stop in traffic, often on the bridge, I open it up and read something new, or more often something I have not read in a long time.

Sometimes I stop on a poem I want to hold, but never was quite able to do so...some sonnet or long lines of Milton or Donne, or Dickinson or Eliot. I have read these writers and their work, but never held them. Recently I started reading The Bridge again and remembered being able to start to understand it only because of the class I was in at the time. Now, sitting in my car...on a bridge...I will keep trying to hear Crane a little clearer.

But my experience was different when I read The Red Wheelbarrow a couple of weeks ago.

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

I read through it quickly, and immediately got it. I held it. And I remembered being in that same classroom 35 years ago and hearing the professor ask the class for a response to which I believe there was none. I had none. Then. But now, I got it and read it again and quoted it to myself as I worked in the yard the following Saturday.

Then I paid a small homage to Williams and the brilliance of the small poem in an entry, trois portes rouges.

Sometimes it takes time to get something.

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