26 July 2007


Milton has been posting poems from The Writer's Almanac this week. I enjoyed today's poem so much I thought I'd do the same. Here it is:

"Handyman" by Barton Sutter, from Farewell to the Starlight in Whiskey. © BOA Editions, 2004. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)


The morning brought such a lashing rain
I decided I might as well stay inside
And tackle those jobs that had multiplied
Like an old man's minor aches and pains.
I found a screw for the strikerplate,
Tightened the handle on the bathroom door,
Cleared the drain in the basement floor,
And straightened the hinge for the backyard gate.
Each task had been a nagging distraction,
An itch in the mind, a dangling thread;
Knocking a tiny brass brad on the head,
I felt an insane sense of satisfaction.
Then I heard a great crash in the yard.
The maple had fallen and smashed our car.

Note: I loved this poem for its use of language and the surprise at the end. As I was pasting this thing into my blog I realized this is a sonnet: the rhyme scheme is abba abba abba cc. How cool is that!


  1. Loved it at Milton's blog....and still love it here.

  2. Scott

    This week at WA has been particularly good. I liked this poem for the same reasons you mentioned (props on noticing the rhyme scheme) and because I have my own nagging list of things to do around here.


  3. Yes, Milton, it's been really good. I don't always get to listen to NPR at noon when WA is broadcast, so the daily email has been a neat addition to my morning. I didn't realize today was Huxley AND Shaw's birthday - two of the most intriguing writers of the 20th century.

  4. It's a good day to have a birthday. :)

  5. Does that mean that a brand new someone has a birthday? Because if my memory serves yours is past...

  6. That's what you get for relying on memory, good Reverend...