A Whirl with Stanley Kunitz

111 photo 111_zpsc52c663d.jpg

The first line of each haiku or senryu is taken from “The Layers” by Stanley Kunitz.

~~ 1 ~~
In a rising wind
skeleton-thin old women
stumble through the streets.
~~ 2 ~~
Scavenger angels
swirl through dark cathedral halls,
heedless of God’s voice.
~~ 3 ~~
Doubt the next chapter,
for each page of it is false,
written by strange hands.
~~ 4 ~~
To decipher it,
you will need a nimble mind
and a humble heart.
~~ 5 ~~
Live in the layers—
crave nothing from the dark vault
where untruths cower.
~~ 6 ~~
Already written—
days of joy and rapture,
no lumps in the throat.
~~ 7 ~~
Done with my changes,
I take the train to Denver—
no one knows my name.
~~ 8 ~~
Abandoned camp-sites
litter the lonely terrain—
prairie dogs rejoice.
~~ 9 ~~
In my darkest night,
willow wraps her supple limbs
round me, holds me tight.

© 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 111

Posted on June 2, 2013, in haiku, senryu, Stanley Kunitz, The Sunday Whirl and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. I LOVE number 2. Scavenger angels is a brilliant line. I will look for it Kunitz’s work. thanks for the reference, you are driving me to read more, and that is a good thing. I like the last one, too, it was a nice way to end this series.

  2. Again, each one holds a vibrant image easily seen and related to. Won’t pick a favorite because they all speak to me. Thank you for what you do with these words.


  3. I see a hint of sadness in the 6-7-8-9 haiku!! Delicately refined!! A heavily burdened heart and everything seems to be going wrong; keep looking upward and you will be guided!!

  4. Haiku 2 and 9 are exceptional. The rest are wonderful as always. Funny that you, Wabi, and I all had prairie. Need to read others for full survey.

  5. How and why you use certain poems for inspiration intrigues me. I wonder about your process too! Whatever it is, the results resonate with me! Once one begins to ‘live in the layers’ of one’s own truth, the liars do indeed cower along with their lies!

  6. What a treat this week from you especially those scavenger angels to make me laugh outright.

  7. Today I will check out “The Layers” but will also avoid “dark vaults”!

  8. No 3 caught my attention!

  9. What a creative way to use the wordle words. #5 is my favourite…”live in the layers.” So many ways to interpret this one. “Crave nothing from the dark vault” conjures images of things forbidden but somehow beckoning. Lovely.

  10. I read the poem you used for your senryu/haiku and it’s magnificent! No wonder it inspired you. Your poems keep the same emotional tone as Kunitz’s but develop each line in a slightly different manner. Love it!

  11. I really love the progression They are connected, yet can stand alone. . .quite an accomplishment!

    Thanks for the visit to mine an your kind comments.!

  12. This is really a bit special, I think. Most impressive in both form and content.

  13. Oh, man. #3 is a STUNNER.

  14. Veronica Roth

    All exceptional, but number three has my whole heart. Love it to pieces. 🙂

  15. Collection of brilliance here. Love the end one.

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