A Mini-Q&A with Muriel Nelson
DOCK Contributor Muriel Nelson shares the secret behind the delicious final stanza in her poem, "On Silent Haunches"
KJB: The line from Psalm 19:2 seems to be a perfect companion for the way in which you respond/pay homage to Sandburg’s, “Fog”. Did you find any of the rest of the Psalm informing the poem, or did the line just spring out to you organically?
MN: If this poem hangs together on anything other than i sounds, it’s the wish to write with light (natural light, not neon or other man-made lighting). I recently discovered that for me, silence heightens the effects of what I see, so Carl Sandburg’s fog came on little cat feet, along with the peaceful diapered cloud bottoms, shushed wind, and silenced radio. No, I don’t have psalms memorized ready to spring out as needed, but I had been working with Psalm 19 for another poem. Unlike psalms full of cries, shouts, storms, and loud musical instruments, this psalm is quiet after day utters. Most important, it has that amazing turn in verse 4, in which God sets a tabernacle for the sun in the words of day and knowledge of night.