Thirty-Seven Small Songs & Thirteen Silences
For the past several years, Jan Zwicky has been developing a definition and working examples of the word “lyric.” Her writing has taken the shape of poetry and philosophy, neither necessarily confined to the traditions of those genres. Thirty-seven Small Songs & Thirteen Silences is the latest in this ongoing focus, previously explored in collections like Songs for Relinqu...more
The sky turns its dark head
and the breezes fold themselves among the leaves.
Who is left?
The last thrush-song has soaked into the earth.
A little stream is here
unsleeping, and the small panes
The sky today: a single...more
perfect sound, an open
throat, the now
that's everywhere and all there is
of time -
the sky, perhaps,
looked up into and said
what is for being
is for thinking, too.
I guess I better
wear a hat!
- Small Song: Blue, pg. 16
You lift like dark itself
out of the night - an overcoat,
your lining hung with night-perfume
and dew. O river of cedar-shadow,
chinchilla skin of night!
You spread beneath my window
and everything you touch
All of the pieces in this volume were short; most just one or two stanzas. But in that space they managed the magic poetry trick of taking my brain outside of itself. I really love her work.