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Friday, September 18, 2009


by W.F. Lantry

Take down the plane and turn it in your hands:
Krenov is dead. The man who showed us form
was something else entirely is lost.
No longer will those hands shape spalted wood
into the unimagined silhouettes
of rhapsodies remade in textured grain.

Pear wood, burr elm, pink ivory and ash
combined into a single piece, the legs,
bubinga, curved by hand, and cedar slats,
all harmonized, each graceful element
shaped and enriched by hands that even made
the implements he used to craft and teach

there in the redwoods, far from his lost home:
Siberia, Shanghai, Seattle, then
put out to sea from Puget Sound, the war
took him to Vladivostok, and he stopped
in Sweden, where at last he learned to love
the simple arc one only makes by hand

and only with great patience. As he planed
he knew that other hands would touch the forms
and so would never compromise, he said
one shortcut leads to many, and he held
beauty and harmony above all else
and taught the rest of us to slow our work.

W.F. Lantry received his Licence and Maîtrise from the Université de Nice, M.A. in English from Boston University and Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. He is the recipient of the Paris/Atlantic Young Writers Award. His poetry has appeared in Gulf Coast, Literary Bohemian, Soundzine, Unsplendid and The Chimaera. He currently serves as the Director of Academic Technology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.