All posts tagged: Jehanne Dubrow

JEHANNE DUBROW Discussing Miłosz

A red wing rose in the darkness. — “Encounter” After the red bird rises through the night, it leaves a wing-shaped shadow on the sky. The teacher asks, If the field is dark how can the poet see red flight? and would like one of the boys (his baseball cap pulled low over his eyes) to answer that we know the color of our blood from memory. We don’t need light. A girl would reply the bird predicts both darting hare and man whose gesture follows, a lightning run of fur and tail, the sleek hind legs to leap into the third couplet where we skip across the years, both hare and man now gone only their motions left behind. And then like sudden grassfire the class would understand the poet’s awe, why he writes these words instead of weeping, why the poem must streak by, bleeding and animal but not quick to die. I have tried teaching Czeław Miłosz’s ‘Encounter’ several times, but never with much luck. “Encounter” is a small poem that travels …