I heard he was going to be profiled on PBS. I decided to blow it off. Then on the night it aired, I was doing dishes while the interview was starting. I heard “Um” too much from him, filling too many of his spaces, like stopgaps, and I wondered how sharp he could be. So it was that, the curiosity, the mean desire to see if he could turn this thing around and prove himself, that made me sit down to watch. It wasn’t the sunshiny expectancy around finding out about a poet that invited me in. But I was in. And he did. He turned it around. He must have been too nervous at first to think from the place from where poetry comes, too nervous to be able to be what I wanted a poet to be. Slowly, with the questions, his every move, look and sound gained strength and the beauty came. It was rapid-fire brilliance in brogue. His talk about himself, his talk about his poetry—the arm around my shoulder. The reading of his own poetry, the sounds of the words out of the tenderness from which they first emerged—the kiss. I ran away to the kitchen. Grabbed paper and pencil. Scurried back, scrawled lead shavings, information onto paper so I could learn more, read more, know more. And on that note, I’ve fallen in love with that part of the turning of this world—you can turn on the good side of a TV, you can turn on the technological magnificence of a computer and turn on enlightenment, anything you want to know, it’s there, you can turn it on, flip a switch, press a button. Ah, here, from Poetry Daily…
Just listen to this…
Snow and Wind Canticle to an Unborn Child
Now the morning snowstorm is a swarm
of white locusts, not a biblical black wind
devouring all before it, but a charm
of benign creatures whose seeming simple end
is to becalm, dropping a bright humility
on the world, bringing the city to a stand-
still, turning their wings into a white sea
of, when walked on, what sounds like soft sand
that gets piled in snow combers or cotton candy,
or shaped into a button-eyed, carrot-nosed fatso.
Our plump snowman, whose eyes are still as blind
as buttons, soon we’ll show you this and so
much more; how now what is called wind
blows a snow kiss, invisible as they say God is.
I’ll leave with my thoughts, leave you with yours…
All artwork and photos from Getty Images.
Pulishers Weekly mini-interview with Greg Delanty: http://www.poems.com/poem.php?date=13647