The Friday Poem on 09/12/22
We chose ‘Muscle memory’ by Richard Meier to be our Friday Poem this week because every time we read it we find something else to like in it. At first look it is a tender portrayal of a child on a beach learning how to throw frisbee, but as we read it again the meaning expands such that we, like the child, are offered a template for ‘all future beauty’ and a way in to the workings of the world. Meier is a master of sonic echo — look at the ‘k’ sounds that weave through the poem, that delicious ‘other thrower slower’, which actually does slow the reader down, and the internal rhyme that holds the whole thing together. Oh the joy, indeed.
A wide, blank beach in northeast Norfolk,
my young son learning frisbee throws.
A backhand, arrowed from his checkered breast pocket.
A second like it, only one which reaches
the other thrower slower, stalls,
to hover right above us, thinking.
A third flicked upwards, angled, from the side,
to climb and climb then carve straight down.
A fourth that, late in flight, will arc
in such a way it might provide
a template for all future beauty.
And, on the boy’s face, as he gets it
and as the world falls open slightly
to show its workings oh the joy