08 March 2010

Lorine Niedecker

[from Lorine Niedecker's Collected Works, University of California, 2002]

Will You Write Me a Christmas Poem

Will I!

The mad stimulus of Gay Gaunt Day
meet to put holly on a tree
and trim green bells
and trim green bells

Now candles come to faces.
Your are wrong to-day
you are wrong to-day,
my dear. My dear —

One translucent morning
in the development of winter
one fog to move a city backward —
Backward, backwards, backward!

You see the objects and the movable fingers,
Candy dripping from branches,
Horoscopes of summer
and you don't have Christmas ultimately —
Ultima Thule ultimately!

Spreads and whimpets
Good to the cherry drops,
Whom for a splendor
Whom for a splendor

I'm going off the paper I'm going off the pap-

Send two birds out
Send two birds out
And carol them in,
Cookies go round.

What a scandal is Christmas,
What a scandle Christmas is,
a red stick-up
to a lily.

You flagellate my woes, you flagellate,
I interpret yours,
holly is a care divine
                holly is a care divine

and where are we all from here.
Drink for there is nothing else to do
but pray,
And where are we all from here.

Throw out the ribbons
and tie your people in
All spans dissever
once the New Year opens
and snow derides
a doorway,
its spasms dissever

All spans dissever,
Wherefore we, for instance, recuperate
no grief to modulate
no grief to modulate
Wherefore we, Free instance

The Christmas cacophony
one word to another,
sound of gilt trailing the world
slippers to presume,
postludes, homicles, sweet tenses
imbecile and corrupt, —
     failing the whirled, trailing the whirled

This great eventual heyday
to plenty the hour thereof,
Heyday! Hey-day! Hey-day!

I fade the color of my wine
that an afternoon might live
foiled with shine and brittle
I fade the color of my wine

Harmony in Egypt,
representative birthday.
Christ what a destiny
What a destiny's Christ's, Christ!


  1. A new one (for me) from Lorine - cause for celebration!

    And yours are wondrous.

    What a find.

    I'm adding you to the "poet feed" on my blog.


  2. Thanks, William. I'm delighting in your poetry & desert photos now

    - C

  3. I wanted to include a poetry blog on my Spring "to visit list" and was glad that I had discovered yours. -Even though this is a wintry post it is spring in Northern Cal.