* holding light & dark via brad leithauser

Some poems move me for their ability to hold contradiction and multitudes of possibility.

This week’s poem, “A Candle” by Brad Leithauser, does just that. The phrasing starts in debate mode (“your point of view”) but quickly rises from it into suspended thought via imagery. Through the singular rhyme scheme’s quick turns, the poem leaves the reader with the image of a candle delivered *ahem* light-ly but whose undertones are dark. The suspension of thought comes, for me, in terms of the phrase “I am thinking of” which doesn’t so much pin down a bias as much as let the “single fellow” exist between “love” and “hell.” Enjoy!

* the single fellow *
* the single fellow *

A Candle – Brad Leithauser

According to
your point of view,
it stands for love –
or hell posed starkly.
I’m thinking of
the single fellow
who hunches darkly,
as though with shame,
there at the blue-yellow
center of the flame.

(from The Mail from Anywhere)


Happy 2015, y’all! Here’s wishing you good words and reading in the new year!

Happy centering!


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