Putting thoughts into words: the reins of summer

As summer glides by, I’d like to share this lovely poem by David Allen Evans, professor of English and writer-in-residence at South Dakota University. David is the recipient of  two Fulbright scholarships and a National Endowment for the Arts award. He is currently poet laureate of the state of South Dakota.  His poem “Girl Riding a Horse in a Field of Sunflowers” artfully captures the fleeting qualities of both summer and childhood.

Evans has as uncanny talent for capturing the interval between inspiration and codification. Are poets always able to capture the moment? According to Evans, inspiration, like youth and summer, is fleeting.

The Poem I couldn’t Write

Last night I gave up again,
tossed the damned sheets
in the wastebasket,
turned out the lights
and went upstairs.

Brushing my teeth before
the bathroom mirror,
there it was,
the poem I couldn’t write.
When I frowned, it frowned.
When I smiled, it smiled.

It had all my thoughts,
all my feelings,
all my wrinkles—
exactly my age, and three
silver filings in its jaw.

When I switched off the light
it was gone.
When I switched it back on,
there it was,
speaking without words
to a wordless man.