PA Day 24: Imitation, Apology to Merwin

Robert, at Poetic Asides suggests

For today’s prompt, write an imitation poem. Some folks say imitation is the best form of flattery. So with it being Thanksgiving in these parts, I thought it appropriate to pick a poem you enjoy and write an imitation of it. You can include poet and poem of the original if you’d like; or see if others can guess.

I read W.S. Merwin’s poem “Thanks” this morning on Poets.org. Merwin is another poet I’ve neglected, and I thought this would be a good time to see a little more of what I’ve been missing.

A lot.

From an older book, Green With Beasts, I read–not deeply–at random “Dog” and “White Goat, White Ram” and two shorter pieces–“The Bathers” and “The Wilderness.”

When you imitate, you can only go so far as you are capable.

Two Cats

One cat has stretched, a shadow along the bench
Set under the window, and one cat
Is nodding curled on the back of the couch.
Resting like two mismatched pillows, black
Satin and grassland camouflage, or embassies
Of two warring nations at neutral corners
Of a neutral city street or their studiously dozing spies
Propped behind newspapers in the winter park,
Nothing about them is similar. Only the shapes
And functions of ears, noses, whiskers, claws,
Skeletons. They only drink and eat from the same
Sources, evacuate and cover their scat in the same
Manner. They are disparate Finger Lakes, Texas
And Mexico, two leaves come to rest by one thin path.

 
 

 

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