The Abasement of the Northmores

Michael D. Snediker on

Published in Poem Of The Day

Hope is the thing with feathers, the fist of a house-
hold god held to the blazing sky of Hiroshima,
mon amour, my careful ever. I can't tell this lonesomeness
from the one it's replacing, its heft and harrow: a hawk

with a husband in its cast bronze hands, the missing quiver:
the hypotenuse between us never seemed so calculable

as when your body, my urn of ashes, bobbed out of reach
on the swollen Mersey river. Hendiadys, bowed bent like a hatchet

who lives it over by living back: let me tell you about perforation.
I am a badly drawn creature washed up on a littered shore

and hope is the shells, small and cool, into which we hermits
each morning retract the startling need of our claws.

About this poem
"Both the title of the poem and some of its language drift into it from a Henry James story of the same name; the manuscript which it's part of, 'The New York Editions,' is a 'translation' of James' fiction into poems. Both poem and manuscript are interested in how something like desire (or hope, or lonesomeness, etc.) is and isn't translatable across genre and time, between persons and characters: the relation between feeling and form as they wear down and into each other."
-Michael D. Snediker

About Michael D. Snediker
Michael D. Snediker is the author of "The Apartment of Tragic Appliances" (Punctum Books, 2013). He teaches at the University of Houston and lives in Houston.

The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]poets.org.

(c) 2015 Michael D. Snediker. Originally published by the Academy of American Poets, www.poets.org. Distributed by King Features Syndicate




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