Pitching Horseshoes

April 21, 2006 at 8:33 pm 15 comments

Claudia Emerson

Listen

Some of your buddies might come around
for a couple of beers and a game,
but most evenings, you pitched horseshoes

alone. I washed up the dishes
or watered the garden to the thudding
sound of the horseshoe in the pit,

or the practiced ring of metal
against metal, after the silent
arc – end over end. That last

summer, you played a seamless, unscored
game against yourself. Or night
falling. Or coming in the house.

You were good at it. From the porch
I watched you become shadowless,
then featureless, until I knew

you couldn't see either, and still
the dusk rang out, your aim that easy;
between the iron stakes you had driven

into the hard earth yourself, you paced
back and forth as if there were a decision
to make, and you were the one to make it.

Taken from Late Wife, a collection of poems for which Emerson won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry this year (see my review of the book here).

This is one of my favourite poems from the first part of the book. I like the unusual, lonely image of a man pitching horseshoes late into the night, the clanging and metallic flavour of it, the way Emerson makes it so vivid, so easy to picture. And I love the way this seemingly innocent hobby becomes a metaphor for so much more, for a sort of stubborn isolation, for the struggles of a man thinking things through over and over, trying to get it exactly right.

About these ads

Entry filed under: 'New' Poetry, Claudia Emerson, English. Tags: .

Macavity: The Mystery Cat Affair of Kites

15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Poetry Drop - Claudia Emerson « BOOKIE  |  June 11, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    [...] Poetry Drop – Claudia Emerson Pitching Horseshoes [...]

    Reply
  • 2. coupons for hostgator  |  December 31, 2011 at 4:50 am

    I’m really impressed together with your writing talents and also with the format to your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it your self? Either way stay up the excellent quality writing, it?s uncommon to look a nice blog like this one these days..

    Reply
  • 3. office plants  |  April 9, 2012 at 9:39 am

    youve got an crucial weblog proper here! would you wish to make some invite posts on my weblog? 673047

    Reply
  • 4. επιπλα  |  April 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    This really is a very good topic to speak about. Sometimes I fav stuff like this on Redit. This post probably wont do effectively with that crowd. I is going to be confident to submit something else though. 471101

    Reply
  • 5. cool site  |  April 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Normally I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up quite forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite good post. 959868

    Reply
  • 6. Tucson Gym  |  April 30, 2012 at 9:10 am

    hey was just seeing in case you minded a comment. i like your internet site and the theme you picked is super. I is going to be back. 49918

    Reply
  • 7. Akkusauger im Test  |  May 3, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Ive the same issue sometimes, but I usually just force myself via it and revise later. Great luck! 855160

    Reply
  • 8. spells reviews  |  May 8, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Magnificent beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a weblog website? The account helped me a appropriate deal. I had been just a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided brilliant transparent concept 482515

    Reply
  • 9. Software  |  May 12, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made certain nice points in features also. 470811

    Reply
  • 10. how to make a portfolio website  |  May 22, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    I was reading via some of your content on this internet website and I believe this website is truly instructive! Keep putting up. 326462

    Reply
  • 11. shemale ts tv escort escorts london uk  |  May 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Could it be okay to write several of this on my small internet web site only incorporate a 1 way link towards the web site? 900070

    Reply
  • 12. www.jdwebworks.com/crbg.htm  |  May 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Quite intriguing subject , appreciate it for posting . 11057

    Reply
  • 13. Tatuaggi  |  June 3, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Thanks for this amazing post! It has long been quite valuable. I wish that you will carry on posting your wisdom with us. 863855

    Reply
  • 14. buy raspberry ketones  |  June 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    We keep your page. Watch it offline once more soon. Extremely fascinating write-up. 232974

    Reply
  • 15. tatuaggi sole  |  June 11, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Ive been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your site? 727550

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Feeds

Categories


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 62 other followers

%d bloggers like this: