[Milton-L] "Particular Falls"

Nancy Charlton charltonwordorder1 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 20 02:36:13 EST 2015

I felt that you all would enjoy this poem. Since I couldn't get Poetry
Daily to send it from their form, I'll take my chances with the copyright
police and simply copy it into this email.

The last stanza (?) is particularly Miltonic.

Nancy Charlton

Particular Falls

Not as three strands of braided hair,
being loosened, fall then together in waves
to touch the shoulders; and not as a white-
winged hawk releases and falls sinking
on the wind until its wings swerve upward
riding the current again toward the sun.

Not the freefall that comes before
the parachute spreads and opens above
like a prayer and halts the plunge;
and not the tumbling fall of an acrobat
before he catches the trapeze his partner
drops as she falls to catch his feet.
Not any of those falls.

And not the continual plummeting
fall of mountain snowmelt creating icy
weather in summer; nor the spider gliding
down her string, floating more than falling
in descent just as day falls and drifts
in its own ways into night; and not as one falls
with eyes closed into sleep where faith
is with the falling; nor as one falls
into love where riotous ascent begins
simultaneous with the falling.

But consider the falling that is immutable:
the naked body of a nestling lying spilled
and broken on the sidewalk; wind-felled fruit,
sick odor of rotting pulp below the tree, slick
mass oozing into earth; the cold, frightening
stillness of those who lie fallen in battle.

And remember the story of the bleakest
fall, the fall of those who once were angels,
who fell and fell into the deepest chasm
of blindness, irredeemable, never to rise,
never to hope to rise. Pity their god.

PATTIANN ROGERS <http://poems.com/feature.php?date=16455>

The Georgia Review <http://garev.uga.edu/>
Winter 2014
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