I, the Day

for Ruth Bader Ginsberg

I, the day, consist of trees
And rivers that escape through
The talons of alphabetizing owls
Hunched for themselves—
And poised like poets
Of senescence, and intemperance ,
And death defying stealth:
The holiness of life
Encoded in a wing span.

Published by extrasimile

define: extra: excess, more than is needed, required or desired; something additional of the same kind. define: simile: a simile is a type of figurative language, language that does not mean exactly what it says, that makes a comparison between two otherwise unalike objects or ideas by connecting them with the words “like” or “as.” The reader can see a similar connection with the verbs resemble, compare and liken. Similes allow an author to emphasize a certain characteristic of an object by comparing that object to an unrelated object that is an example of that characteristic. define: extra: an minor actor in a crowd scene

3 thoughts on “I, the Day

  1. You are a poet’s poet, I think Jim. The last two lines are, as John notes, extraordinary. The puzzle of the poem is absolutely fascinating too. You never write of the surface of things. That’s for sure.
    The poet is the day; the first line says so.
    But the day is not simply a day. It consists of trees and rivers that

    escape through
    The talons of alphabetizing owls

    Owls are usually a symbol of wisdom or intuition, or, in Greek mythology, pure spirit. an alphabetizing owl must be one that speaks. Rivers are a flow. Trees are a symbol of strength and power usually. If I untangled all of that I would come up with: you, the day, are filled with a strength and power that flows through the talons of wisdom and expression that are, in the next line, “Hunched for themselves”

    But that’s not all, no. The trees, rivers, and owls are

    … poised like poets
    Of senescence, and intemperance ,
    And death defying stealth:

    Senescence is the aging process, the way all life deteriorates through aging. Intemperance is the lack of restraint or moderation. So we have the day, who is strong and powerful, flowing through the talons of wisdom and expression, aging, deteriorating, but still lacking restraint or moderation, defying death through an act of stealth:

    The holiness of life
    Encoded in a wing span.

    Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

    Did I get this right?

  2. Hello Jim. Most effective. That idea of the holiness of life being encoded in a wing span, but associated with the stealthy delivery of death, is very subtle.
    I was not sure where senescence and intemperance came from, but I know I prefer the latter to the former! However, they appear to belong together, and they rhyme well enough. Perhaps I should look forward to both 😊

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