Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rita Dove: "Wiring Home" presents us with our beatification

Rita Dove beatifies us in "Wiring Home." Ambushed by canaries. We're in a breathless flurry. A thousand golden narcissi. We're Saul struck by heavenly light.
Every line calls to us. Wolf whistles, knees, the beggar (always with us). Our ordinariness is in its final turn made classic and beautiful.  Wordsworth's "crowd," "host" of golden daffodils is pastoral. Dove doesn't necessarily forego his remembered "bliss of solitude" but puts it upfront and shows us bliss, not as memory, but accessible and present.

Narcissus may be hung up on himself. Wordsworth (wonderful) may be hung up on reflection. Dove brings us to another level, not hung up, not reflecting. We're there.  Moving on from tabloid tales of "odyssey and heartbreak" offers street-level sanctification. We're sanctified.

Wiring Home
Lest the wolves loose their whistles
and shopkeepers inquire,
keep moving, though your knees flush
red as two chapped apples,
keep moving, head up,
past the beggar's cold cup,
past the kiosk's
trumpet tales of
odyssey and heartbreak-
until, turning a corner, you stand,
staring: ambushed
by a window of canaries
bright as a thousand
golden narcissi.

Rita Dove, first published in Mississippi Review.

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