written while working on Louise Bryant project
right down the road from where she began her mothering years...
"Louise Bryant with Daughter Anne" Ashfield, Ma. 1926

“New Englandy”* Renderings
by antoinette nora claypoole

 for Louise Bryant & Richard Wilbur after hearing him read  in Ashfield, Mass. 10.10.10
...”They swoon down in so rapt a quiet
That nobody seems to be there.
The soul shrinks

From all that it is about to remember...”
                                    --Richard Wilbur
                  from “Love Calls Us to the Things of This World”

Poetry seizes me      
    and I am not a poet
I am not held in cryptic
translation of the soul
I am the undeciphered       
     craving verse.

She arrives at their lake
like acres of  believing
in geese. She hears nightly
it is not. An Owl. Howling
in forests of her Dickinson
chamber. the desired desk
reaches not. Hot.  Window
as Slumber resents darkness
harnessed table is crowding
the Echo.  Splashes.  Over
quartzite hilltowns  Richard
Wilbur reads their seasons
conjuring Emily, a houdini
a séance he is.  her Antony.
naming her Cleopatra  yet
childless  she is  butterflies
are  like  swimmers  who  do
not  ever splash 
he is. Dashing. quietly-hear-

here the leeks harvested today
 will be from the last garden
I ever see.  Bitterwseet You.
know butterflies  differently.
There is Isis in this.
Resurrecting of  soulflight.
Like a snow shovelling fiddler
There is twilight in lost days
The way histories are, he is
 playing us autumn, his bliss.

The geese
retreat.  The lady
the seer the lake
       too deep.

* “new englandy” is an Emily Dickinson signature phrase