POEMS POEMS #9
by Gjertrud Schnackenberg
Threading the palm, a web of little lines
Spells out the lost money, the heart, the head,
The wagging tongues, the sudden deaths, in signs
We would smooth out, like imprints on a bed,
In signs that can't be helped, geese heading south,
In signs read anxiously, like breath that clouds
A mirror held to a barely open mouth,
Like telegrams, the gathering of crowds--
The plane's X in the sky, spelling disaster:
Before the whistle and hit, a tracer flare;
Before rubble, a hairline crack in plaster
And a housefly's panicked scribbling on the air.
This poem is very well written. At first, I was pretty confused about the content of the poem but it sort of came together as I read it a couple of times. The speaker talks about signs in general. There’s no single sign that the speaker focuses on the focus of the poem is the trace of something else A.K.A a sign. The tension in the poem is pretty interesting to look at. At first glance the poem seems kind of chaotic, but then there are a lot of “s” sounds in the poem that aren’t reflective of this idea: spells, sudden, signs, smooth, south, spelling, sky, and scribbling. This “s” sound is not a harsh sound that would bring out the chaotic nature of events that is going on in this poem such as the deaths and crashing airplane, but still this idea of very well portrayed.