Who would have thought a little poem about picking currants could mean so much?
In the mail today came my Hal Prize, the tangible prize beyond the honor and the publication: a monetary prize, a week’s stay at Write On Door County, and a lovely hand-crafted mug from Clay Bay Pottery, which may be, after all, my favorite thing.
As you can see by the photograph, the mug screams Door County: pottery, art, nature, even its implicit humility, as far away from pretension as can be. I will use it for my coffee tomorrow morning and cherish it forever.
“In direct, clear language ‘The Obligation’ draws a scene of surprising depth. The speaker of the poem carries out a mundane task that reveals how we relate to others. With lines as lush and insistent as the fruit they describe, this poem serves up the simple solitude of circumstance and, in the last line in particular, transcends the poem to implicate the reader.”