Alec Derwent

Alec Derwent

  • Submitted By: run4rahul
  • Date Submitted: 12/03/2013 7:10 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 548
  • Page: 3
  • Views: 53

By Earle Birney

He invented a rainbow but lightning struck it
shattered it into the lake-lap of a mountain
so big his mind slowed when he looked at it

Yet he built a shack on the shore
learned to roast porcupine belly and
wore the quills on his hatband

At first he was out with the dawn
whether it yellowed bright as wood-columbine
or was only a fuzzed moth in a flannel of storm

But he found the mountain was clearly alive
sent messages whizzing down every hot morning
boomed proclamations at noon and spread out
a white guard of goat
before falling asleep on its feet at sundown

When he tried his eyes on the lake ospreys
would fall like valkyries
choosing the cut-throat
he took then to waiting
till the night smoke rose from the boil of the sunset

But the moon carved unknown totems
out of the lakeshore
owls in the beardusky woods derided him
moosehorned cedars circled his swamps and tossed
their antlers up to the stars
Then he knew though the mountain slept the winds
were shaping its peak to an arrowhead

And now he could only
bar himself in and wait
for the great flint to come singing into his heart [1951]


1) What lines indicate that the speaker became adept at living in the wild?
2) What has occurred to the speaker throughout his time in the wilderness? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
3) Identify a metaphor and personification that has been used in the poem. What effect is created through the use of these literary devices?...