Happy Birthday Jared Carter! Carter is a poet who writes about life, culture and nature in the Midwest. His creative poems about nature inspire me.
He came to poetry, like many others, after working in another field as an editor and designer of books. While born in Indiana, as a young man he headed east to study at Yale and Goddard College. Then he traveled seeing and experiencing life, culture in New York, San Francisco and Paris . As some people, and Midwesterners too, know the pull of home country and region where we grow up can be a strong one. Carter returned home to Indiana to write poems inspired by it.
In the winter as a child one of my favorite flavors was taste of snow during the first snowfall. A flavor signaling the start of this cold season and the promises it brings of sledding, ice skating, and building snowman. It’s still one of my favorite flavors.
Since he is a winter’ child born in January, I wanted share a Carter poem, Snow, on his birthday.
By Jared Carter
At every hand there are moments we
cannot quite grasp or understand. Free
to decide, to interpret, we watch rain
streaking down the window, the drain
emptying, leaves blown by a cold wind.
At least we sense a continuity in
such falling away. But not with snow.
It is forgetfulness, what does not know,
has nothing to remember in the first place.
Its purpose is to cover, to leave no trace
of anything. Whatever was there before—
the worn broom leaned against the door
and almost buried now, the pile of brick,
the bushel basket filling up with thick,
gathering whiteness, half sunk in a drift—
all these things are lost in the slow sift
of the snow’s falling. Now someone asks
if you can remember—such a simple task—
the time before you were born. Of course
you cannot, nor can I. Snow is the horse
that would never dream of running away,
that plods on, pulling the empty sleigh
while the tracks behind it fill, and soon
everything is smooth again. No moon,
no stars, to guide your way. No light.
Climb up, get in. Be drawn into the night.
Related post of more poems at: Jared Carter Poetry