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The Thought-Fox

I used this poem with students to explain the source of poetic inspiration. It is probably already there and sneaks out to find literary life and expression. Ted Hughes described the creative process of poetry writing as an animal quietly emerging and appearing.

I will sit, close my eyes, and write each day in my journal. Perhaps, a thought-fox will creep out of the shrubbery of imagination. Sabbath is a good time to start.

I imagine this midnight movement’s forest;

Something else is alive

Beside the clock’s loneliness

And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no stars:

Something more near

Though deeper within darkness

Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow,

A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;

Two eyes serve a moment, that now

And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow,

Between trees, and wearily a lame

Shadow lags by stump and in hollow

Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,

A widening deepening greenness,

Brilliantly, concentratedly,

Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox

It enters the dark hole of the head.

The window is starless still; the clock ticks,

The page is printed.

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About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and spent the last 14 years teaching in an incrediable hybrid school setting. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation that allows me to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what will call me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

8 responses »

  1. I Nominate you for a Super Bunch of Awards – 30 Nominations
    please choose any 3 awards out of the 30
    accept it and oblige

    there are no linkbacks for this award

    http://ajaytao2010.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/super-bunch-of-awards-30-nomination/

    Reply
  2. I appreciate that this process starts with the idea of first sitting, becoming still, then writing and allowing that perhaps something will come. Perfect

    Reply
  3. Yes, definite inspiration…

    Reply
  4. I bet that poem was very effective to get the kids writing. The ideas have to be there for good writing once they see the possibility of ideas in the smallest thing…then bingo…they are off! Namaste. . .Anne

    Reply

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