Jan 17, 2012

Chase Twichell, "A Negative of Snow"

White Pelicans--very rare, I'm told
A Negative of Snow by Chase Twichell : The Poetry Foundation

Chase Twichell's "A Negative of Snow" is a brutally honest poem about a daughter's father-love. The first verse paragraph is a superb set-up for the shift to a somewhat different subject at the poem's center. In that opening, I especially love this (note that Ms. Twichell's reading somehow, oddly omits the first verse paragraph):

     It was my job to carry the birds.
     I’d have them all plucked
     by the time we got back to the car.
     On the walk out I’d look
     for puddles I’d missed
     and break them. 
These lines prepare us both beautifully and awfully for the tough facts to come. The daughter can
pluck birds efficiently, probably better than any boy, and she makes sure she fractures
every iced puddle she comes across. She is no softie; she knows anger. And that dramatizes, by
contrast, her softer filial affections as the rest of the poem develops, adding one cold complication
to another.

The season, of course, is winter; it almost has to be. So I've added Florida shore birds as balance.
Roseate Spoonbill, flanked by White Ibises, in Synchronized Flea Biting


[Blogspot is again fighting me on formatting above, after the quotation. Hope you can ignore it].


A Negative of Snow by Chase Twichell : The Poetry Foundation

 

7 comments:

altadenahiker said...

Yes. It took me several readings, but yes.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I would argue that it isn't necessarily a comparison of the hard/tuff against the soft. Rather the one who can do the unpleasant stuff has what it takes to be able to change her father's diaper or pull the plug - when the time comes

Banjo52 said...

AH, good. There's something tricky in the last two lines.

PA, Yes to your point. But I was thinking of this:
"his beautiful fragile brain,
which I had not yet finished loving."

Writers are fond of saying, "I wish I'd written that." I feel that way about those lines.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

yes, that lines the poem within the poem

Brenda's Arizona said...

Yes, I, too, wish I had written that. Does it take a 'father's daughter' to read this poem and falter for the day? I feel like someone has read into my life. I have not yet finished living life with my father, though I know he is long gone...

Something about the young girl being included in the hunting trip - both warms my yet makes me want to have a long talk with the father!

Ysabelle said...

wow, I love that book also and the bird feather was fabulous it's pink LOL!


Lets Enjoy Philippines | tourist spots in the philippines

Ysabelle said...

wow, I love that book also and the bird feather was fabulous it's pink LOL!


Lets Enjoy Philippines | tourist spots in the philippines

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