Friday, July 12, 2013

POEM: At Crescent Park Carousel

Recently, Lesley, Marin, and I visited Crescent Park Carousel in Riverside, Rhode Island. It was hand-carved by Charles Looff in 1895 and is still revolving with joy. My poem is modeled in structure after Richard Wilbur’s “June Light”: 

At Crescent Park Carousel

Your choice, in passing by a bridled face
Belonging to a stationary roan,
Was pitched to pick a jumper, she of bone-
White shoulders, a statue of a steeplechase
Which you had claimed as yours, and yours alone.

Then your grip tightened on that golden pole
Some master carver set within your horse
For permanent ascent. How close our course
Circled, and how constricted our control,
Meant little locked in radiating force.

And you leaned out—if I could only sing
Over the Wurlitzer, I might still be
Accordant with that same calliope—
To grasp the brassy medal of a ring.

© 2013 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

6 comments: said...

Wonderful! Such a charming poem, Steven.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Lovely! Truly a gift on this Poetry Friday. :)

Bridget Magee said...

I was on the carousel horse right there next to you, Steven. Thanks for sharing. =)

Keri said...

You capture the experience so well and the more formal form and language beautifully matches the antique carousel.

Carol said...

You set yourself a pretty big challenge, to write in the style of another poem. Wow! And then you pulled it off beautifully! I can totally picture the antique carousel, the choosing of horses, the climbing aboard, the music--

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

I was thinking the same thing as Keri & Carol - the style of the poem (wordplay, form, etc.) is perfect for the subject. Love what you've got here!