Catherine Wing is a poet from Louisville, Kentucky. In this poem what struck me was the way the letter “r” emerges in the words used, becoming the dominant driving force that moves the poem forward. Everything starts to quietly resonate as if a purring engine has been switched on the moment you start reading the first line of the poem. Every carefully chosen word is a tremor and you slide. You start to find the “r” even in words that do not contain it. Is it the “r” that makes darker black? Is it the “r” that makes sooner so eminent? So close? How can one letter be so powerful? How can a poem be so beautiful?
The Darker Sooner
Then came the darker sooner,
came the later lower.
We were no longer a sweeter-here
happily-ever-after. We were after ever.
We were farther and further.
More was the word we used for harder.
Lost was our standard-bearer.
Our gods were fallen faster,
and fallen larger.
The day was duller, duller
was disaster. Our charge was error.
Instead of leader we had louder,
instead of lover, never. And over this river
broke the winter’s black weather.