Saturday, 25 April 2015

V is for Vibrant...Vocal...and Valentine

V is for Valentine, Jean (1934 - )

American poet, teacher and translator, Jean Valentine has won numerous awards and has been shortlisted for the Pulitzer poetry prize. She was named the State poet for New York for 2008-2010. Read more about her by clicking on her name above.  Today my prompt is her poem Door in the Mountain

Forgetful shutters

I once knew some old shutters, and they knew me too;
but years shuffle things around, and men must renew
frames that need no support, and refresh the décor.
Next I knew, I’d come to knock on a stranger’s door.

I am slow to forget lanes, but I must confess
I thought I had; I checked and rechecked the address,
reworked the topography from past memory,
found no mistake, but it remained firmly barred to me.

There’s nothing as final as the soft, soundless swing
of doors on oiled hinges, the click that’s in closing.
Others might open elsewhere, but the one that shut
can never be coaxed open again no matter what.

By chance someone might loop back across the oceans
to a door that'd swung shut once.  It no longer opens.

Doors, windows..  Doors opening, closing.  Do you believe that saying about one door shutting and another opening somewhere?  Doors as metaphors. Is that overused? Why are they called 'shutters', why not 'openers'? Is that because we are shutting things/people out more often rather than leaving them open?

Posted for the A-Z Challenge 2015


  1. Changes when we've been gone awhile - that's what I got out of your poem.
    Yes, I do think new doors open. Might not be what we wanted, but it's the best path for us. (And I personally believe it's the one God wants us on.)

  2. Hi Nila - we might not like what's happened since we left ... but new doors always open and we need to travel that new route, we can't go back .. love the thought of the shutters banging gently on old frames .. sad .. cheers Hilary

  3. An inspiring poem. It makes me sad too for some reason, with the doors closing and all...

    My latest post for the Blogging A to Z Challenge.

  4. Haunting. Yes, there are doors that once shut, will never open again, and yet we never stop dreaming of the entering...


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