Tuesday, December 15, 2009

..there might someday be fog

As I am currently working on my application to Columbia University's MFA program, it is impossible to not think about the late Sarah Hannah, Columbia alumna & my thesis adviser & confidante at Emerson College. I can't believe she's been gone for two years now, and that I'm still so shaken by her suicide. Haven't been able to bring myself to read her book from Tupelo Press, but soon, soon. Anyway, here's a poem of Sarah's that I always liked.

For the Fog Horn When There Is No Fog

Still sounding in full sun past the jetty,
While low tide waves lap trinkets at your feet,

And you skip across dried trident trails,
Fling weeds, and do not think of worry.

For the horn that blares although you call it stubborn,
In error, out of place. For the ridicule endured,

And the continuance.
You can count out your beloved - crustaceans -

Winking in spray, still breathing in the wake,
Beneath the hooking flights of gulls,

Through the horn's threnody.
Count them now among the moving. They are.

For weathervane and almanac, ephemeris and augur,
Blameless seer versed in bones, entrails, landed shells.

For everything that tries to counsel vigilance:
The surly sullen bell, before the going,

The warning that reiterates across
The water: there might someday be fog

(They will be lost), there might very well
Be fog someday, and you will have nothing

But remembrance, and you will have to learn
To be grateful.


christina sestina said...

Hi Sophie --

I stumbled on your blog thanks to my "I don't know how to turn it off / don't want to" google alert for Sarah that I set up after her death. I was a student of hers at Emerson as well and just wanted to say, hey! That's one of my favorite of her poems. And, good luck with your application and all else you do.

Hope this isn't seriously weird.
Christie Towers

ps. would you mind if I read other bits of your blog? I really dig what you've got up here!

sophie klahr said...

Hi Christie,

thanks for commenting. It's always nice to hear from another Emersonian, particularly one who knew Sarah. What year did you graduate?

christina sestina said...

I graduated in 09 -- I only had Sarah for one class, that last Spring, actually, and we became fast friends (I feel so fortunate) ... etc, etc, you know the story.

Thank you for not assuming I'm a creepo, by the way. I will try to go to the reading next week -- I'm so glad to find out about it and to not be working (!) that evening. If I do, I'll swing by the merch hoping to find you!

Thanks, again.