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About this Poem 

"'In This World of 12 Months' is an excerpt from a booklength alexandrine. A traditional French form, the alexandrine is considered to have never quite worked in English—unwieldy for long works, with a propensity to become 'excessively mechanical' (per the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics). One of the original alexandrines, Li romans d'Alixandre, was intended to 'offer the complete life of the hero to the public.' Instead, I wander into the public life of the city, discovering in the alexandrine's twelve-foot length an echo of urban spaces contending with water, wind, entropy, development, diversity, ongoing negotiations of territory."
—Marcella Durand

from In This World of 12 Months

Marcella Durand

Your voice carries easily through liquid; bridge is
halved by fog, as your tongue is divided in mist.
The fog of machinery augmented by steam.
Powered and then not powered, below a line, dark.
Cold, the weather has turned and out there, turbines still.
Water has divided, soft things and diverse: what
seemed one broke. Two cities and more. Lines reappear.
Across there is a wall also a door or steam
turns into fog. The bridge is two; light is taken.
People enjoy themselves, looking at glittering
potential floods. It is so nice to have a view.

Copyright © 2013 by Marcella Durand. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on July 15, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Marcella Durand