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Showing posts from August, 2012

One Acre Yard

A look at Roddy Lumsden's 'One Acre Yard'


Where are we? The poem has brought us to a large yard in Fargo, the biggest city in North Dakota. It is April, we are told; our poet and his companion have “missed the thaw by days”; Spring has come late. The yard, we find, is burdened with feelings that go unspoken – washed-out and fatigued like the vowel sounds in its “narrow palette / of oatmeals and ochre”, it is also redolent of a loitering loneliness, as “only the spruce / busks its darkness down each limit”. So the scene is set, the wavering light in those browned yellows against a dwindling, clinging darkness. We feel like we have been here before – not exactly here, but somewhere remarkably similar: that same sense of an imperceptible yet soon-to-be seismic shift; that same taking stock when we hadn’t quite intended or expected to; these wavering feelings beginning to settle. Clearly, we are at the edge of a very specific moment – “all that has fallen these months”, be it “…