The Monday Poem is brought to you by Professor Jim Gormley of the English Department. Enjoy!
Herd Of Buffalo Crossing The Missouri On Ice
If dragonflies can mate atop the surface tension of water, surely these tons of bison can mince across the river, their fur peeling in strips like old wallpaper, their huge eyes adjusting to how far they can see when there's no big or little bluestem, no Indian grass nor prairie cord grass to plod through. Maybe because it's bright in the blown snow and swirling grit, their vast heads are lowered to the gray ice: nothing to eat, little to smell. They have their own currents. You could watch a herd of running pronghorn swerve like a river rounding a meander and see better what I mean. But bison are a deeper, deliberate water, and there will never be enough water for any West but the one into which we watch these bison carefully disappear.
William Matthews’s poetry has earned him a reputation as a master of well-turned phrases, wise sayings, and rich metaphors. Much of Matthews’s poetry explores the themes of life cycles, the passage of time, and the nature of human consciousness. A couple of his poems have been likened to “deep image” poems, which allow one strong image to dominate each poem and to evoke many strong feelings and associations. Writing in the Bloomsbury Review, Christopher Merrill identified Matthews as “one of our most alert and engaging poets.”