Jude Goodwin, Canadian Poet

Jude Goodwin

She uses the personal to translate the universal.

In Winter

In Winter

In Winter -
 

a flute, played on the edge

of a snow-covered marsh,

will be heard forever.

The red haired boy

who pushed his breath

though a silver reed, letting his talent

spill in the brilliant night,

will move back to the city come spring.

The man who carved ravens

onto a silver ring for you, will die

in a cabin fire across the lake.

The old storykeeper will lie down

in a snowbank one night

on his way home from the pub.

Arms wide, face to the northern lights,

he'll be found that way in the morning.

In that kind of cold your eyebrows turn white

and you think about the tiny hairs

in your lungs, or you think about the boy

in just his socks and plaid felt shirt

making magic on the ice. How he

loosed his clear tones across the frozen bracken,

how they flickered in the moonlight like white feathers

on the belly of a high arctic loon.


Arlene Ang:
This eloquent piece uses the season to its best. At the same time, it also employs an effective contrast in colors: snow-covered marsh against red-haired boy, ravens against silver ring and cabin fire against winter lake. The imagery throughout is melancholy and powerful -- as if each vision is there to haunt the reader into coming to terms with the harsh season, mainly death.

Bernard Henrie:
"In Winter" begins on an almost fanciful image, adds sound and poignancy all in the first few lines; the energy, sweep and speed does not diminish and the reader is rushed through the poet’s landscape of references; I felt like a time traveler looking somewhat mournfully through the cabin window of my time machine. The excursion ends with a comforting and reassuring image, unexpected and yet natural to the poem.

Winter, 2005

Curtain Call

Curtain Call

The Chewer

The Chewer