Friday, April 20, 2012

"The Darker Sooner" by Catherine Wing

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.

Listen to:


  1. Oooh, like your front page and like, really like "The Darker Sooner." Your perceptive remarks are spot-on. You are into the groove on the sound "r". Brrr.
    Winter and the leaving of light is a metaphor here.

  2. Thank you Steve for your comment and kind words. It's such a powerful poem that it makes you think that what they say about the power of words in magic invocations, in mantras etc., is true. The sound, the memory, the emotion or the weight that a word can carry and convey when used in the right way, can be a wonderful means to reach the highest peaks of artistic expression.