Friday, October 29, 2010

Poetry Friday: My Fly Fishing Me

A Blessing

by Ken Hada

After three days of hard fishing
we lean against the truck
untying boots, removing waders.

We change in silence still feeling
the rhythm of cold water lapping
thankful for that last shoal of rainbows
to sooth the disappointment
of missing a trophy brown.

We'll take with us the communion
of rod and line and bead-head nymphs
sore shoulders and wrinkled feet.

(the rest of the poem is at A Writer's Almanac)

I'm not the kind of fly fisher who fishes hard for three days, and I don't fish in the winter, but there's still something in this poem that captures what I love about being on the river (or even a pond) and trying to trick the fish into believing that my lure is the kind of insect they want to eat.

I wrote in my KidLitCon recap about the strangeness of my non-overlapping selves. This fly fishing self is completely separate from my teaching self and my blogging self. (Those two do overlap somewhat.) The day I wrote my recap, Garrison Keillor had this poem on A Writer's Almanac. There was no meandering search for a poem for today; this one came to me.

I can't wait to check out the roundup -- hopefully, some of our new friends from KidLitCon will join us this week! We're gathering today at The Writer's Armchair, with Toby (well, actually her cat Kashi) rounding us up. 


  1. I don't fish at all (well ok, I went once when I was about five and fell in the river and went several hundred feet downstream with my father running along behind me trying to fish me out!) but I love this poem. The bald eagle blessing is beautiful.

  2. Fly fishing! You are fabulous. All of the cats out there today will love this poem too. Do you write about fishing too? So cool!

  3. One thing that surprised me about this halieutic poem was that it is about fishing with others. I tend to register fishing as a solitary experience. A shoal of rainbows is a wonderful image, too.

  4. Mary Lee, who knew? I am the opposite of a fisherman, but this poem really pulls (reels?) me in. Like Blythe, I esp love the shoal of rainbows. And this intense emotion actually kind of reminds me of how I felt at the end of kidlit con last w/e--without the nature imagery. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi, Mary Lee. My father also loves fly fishing. I would imagine there's a kind of meditation in the repetitive cast and reeling in. I'm going to send him this poem.

  6. Lovely poem. And how nice to learn about the "fly fishing" Mary Lee. Reminds me of "A River Runs Through It." A type of fishing that is meditative and calming (my BIL is big on it).

  7. Like Jama, I thought of A River Runs Through It, and the line from that novel - "10 and 2, 10 and 2" when the father shows his son the angle of casting the line back then forward over the river. The fly-fishing experience must be hypnotic! Lovely poem, thanks for sharing it.


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