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  • By Drew Keane

Dirt


Is it quite fair to say dirt's only brown?

Are there not other colors there? — Look down.

That brown is multifaceted and could

Be broken down to charcoal, chocolate, wood;

And as my shovel breaks the earth apart

I see within it all the stuff of art,

Find flecks of yellow, red, and green and grey,

The painter’s palette and the sculptor’s clay.

Look closer still and see there all you can —

No less than all the stuff to make a man

Awaiting but creative hands to form

And Heaven’s breath to animate and warm.

Drew Nathaniel Keane (PhD St And) teaches in the English Department at Georgia Southern University. His verse has appeared in Lighten Up, Better Than Starbucks, Earth & Altar, and The Slumbering Host (Little Gidding Press 2019). More of his work is available at drewkeane.com

4 comentarios


john.masella6695
31 may 2023

Excellent. I love the continuous “zoom out” as we move through the poem - from color, to art more broadly, to references to humanity itself.

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Ryan Tunison
Ryan Tunison
27 may 2023

This poem is executed very well! I felt as if I was there digging with the speaker, discovering all these wonders the dirt has to offer. These following lines from your poem stood out to me the most:


And as my shovel breaks the earth apart

I see within it all the stuff of art,

Find flecks of yellow, red, and green and grey,

The painter's palette and the sculptor's clay.


Not only do they possess a high level of musicality, you open the metaphor to the arts. As the reader descends through each line the meaning is gradually revealed, quite like driving a shovel through all the layers of the earth. Painting and sculpting may be mentioned by name,…


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martinmccarthy1956
martinmccarthy1956
26 may 2023

I love the sense of rhythm in this poem. I read it aloud (the only way to fully appreciate it) and it felt and sounded flawless. Well done, Drew.

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Cindy Erlandson
Cindy Erlandson
22 oct 2020

This is beautiful -- and the last four lines, especially, are exquisite!

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