Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Poem of a Certain Place and Time

So I logged onto the Writer's Almanac today as I often do, and found a poem by James Tate entitled "Suburban Buffalo." What are the chances that I have seen those same buffalo? I have seen them. James Tate teaches (taught?) at UMass Amherst, which is a short trip down Route 9 away from the bowling alley in Northampton, MA. On that two-lane strip of wannabe highway in Hadley stands (stood?) the Longview Bison Farm, the land of which has been sold and will soon be a Lowe's.

Tate's poem is a wonderful portrait of a surreal moment in real time, which concludes with a fanciful depiction of deconstructed farmers. It seems even more poignant when you know that the buffalo in the poem are no longer there and the poem has become an inadvertent memorial.

Write ye poems while ye may
old Time is sure a-flyin'
the same subject matter that's there today
tomorrow may be bulldozed

1 comment:

  1. I always craned my neck to see those bison when going down Route 9 and never saw them. And now they're gone. I'm glad I saw them out west.

    I haven't written any poems in three months. I recently downloaded Finale Notepad and I've been putting some music together. It's in B flat minor and I play it back in the voice of the oboe. Perhaps a fitting requiem for long gone bison.