Friday Poem – ‘Fatherhood’ by Carrie Etter

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Fatherhood’ by Carrie Etter from her collection The Weather in Normal.

This cover shows a straight road stretching into the distance beneath a story sky. A single bolt of lightening strikes the ground in the distance. The text reads: The Weather in Normal, Carrie Etter.

Carrie Etter is known for beautifully expressive and formally inventive verse. The Weather in Normal, her fourth collection, explores the changes to her hometown of Normal, Illinois following her parents’ deaths, the sale of the family home, and the effects of climate change on Illinois’ landscape and lives. The author’s restlessly inventive use of multiple tones, shifting line lengths, and fresh turns of phrase are as much a means of conveying complex and paradoxical emotions as they are a determined formal strategy.

The weather belongs to everyone, so you may say, but in our family, it
was his. It was his study by internet, television, radio, barometer, and
long rides cycling past the cornfields in all their seasons and moods.
He witnessed and reported, and when I moved away, he expanded his
research accordingly, learned my temperature, precipitation, wind speed,
and humidity. He marveled at my extremes – the Northridge earthquake,
a tornado in London. By phone he told me my weather, and sometimes I
listened. Sometimes I spoke of the sun and the rain as though I held one
in either hand.

The Weather in Normal is available on the Seren website: £9.99

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