POST (1) MY FIRST BLOG POST: About one of my favorite poems from childhood, "THE SKATER OF GHOST LAKE."

I am really looking forward to sharing my favorite poets and their poems, writers and their works of literature. Also...sharing the events and thoughts of my life. These, along with my many other deep interests...should keep me very busy!

                                                                      BILL CARAWAN

 

 

 

______________________________

About twenty years ago I happened to vaguely remember a long poem I used to love to read, which was in my 10th grade literature text-book. It was about an ice-skater and his lover, skating at night. But I couldn't recall the title or author. Many times if I happened to be in a library I would try to find it, but without success.

 

Then came the age of computers. My job began to require some computer knowledge. After a few classes and after developing a very few basic skills, I again attempted to search for the poem. Of course I met with immediate success. I was thrilled to read it again, after so many years! It is a truly marvelous poem...with atmosphere and mystery. Also cadence, rhythm, and flow. You really feel like you're actually skating right along with them. Enjoy!

 

 

The Skater of Ghost Lake

William Rose Benet

 

Ghost Lake's a dark lake, a deep lake and cold:

Ice black as ebony, frostily scrolled;

Far in its shadows a faint sound whirs;

Steep stand the sentineled deep, dark firs.

 

A brisk sound, a swift sound, a ring-tinkle-ring;

Flit-flit,--a shadow with a stoop and a swing,

Flies from the shadow through the crackling cold.

Ghost Lake's a deep lake, a dark lake and old!

 

Leaning and leaning with a stride and a stride,

hands locked behind him, scarf blowing wide,

Jeremy Randall skates, skates late,

Star for a candle, moon for a mate

 

Black is the clear glass now that he glides,

Crisp is the whisper of long lean strides,

Swift is his swaying - but pricked ears hark.

None comes to Ghost Lake late after dark

 

Cecily only--yes it is she!

Stealing to Ghost Lake, tree after tree,

Kneeling in snow by the still lake side,

Rising with feet winged, gleaming, to glide.

 

Dust of the ice swirls. Here is his hand.

Brilliant his eyes burn. Now, as was planned,

Arm across arm twined, laced to his side,

Out on the dark lake lightly they glide.

 

Dance of the dim moon, a rhythmical reel

A swaying, a swift tune--skurr of the steel;

Moon for a candle, maid for a mate,

Jeremy Randall skates, skates late.

 

Black as if lacquered the wide lake lies;

Breath as a frost-fume, eyes seek eyes;

Souls are a sword edge tasting the cold.

Ghost Lake's a deep lake, a dark lake and old!

 

Far in the shadows hear faintly begin

Like a string pluck-plucked of a violin,

Muffled in mist on the lake's far bound,

Swifter and swifter, a low singing sound!

 

Far in the shadows and faint on the verge

Of blue cloudy moonlight, see it emerge,

Flit-flit,--a phantom, with a stoop and a swing . . .

Ah, it's a night bird burdened of wing!

 

 

 

Pressed close to Jeremy, laced to his side,

Cecily Culver, dizzy you glide.

Jeremy Randall sweepingly veers

Out on the dark ice far from the piers.

 

"Jeremy!" "Sweetheart?" "What do you fear?"

"Nothing my darling,--nothing is here!"

"Jeremy!" "Sweetheart?" "What do you flee?"

"Something--I know not; something I see!"

 

Swayed to a swift stride, brisker of pace,

Leaning and leaning, they race and they race;

Ever that whirring, that crisp sound thin

Like a string pluck-plucked of a violin;

 

Ever that swifter and low singing sound

Sweeping behind them, winding them round;

Gasp of their breath now that chill flakes fret;

Ice black as ebony--blacker--like jet!

 

 

Ice shooting fangs forth--sudden--like spears;

Crackling of lightning--a roar in their ears!

Shadowy, a phantom swerves off its prey . . .

No, it's a night bird flit-flits away!

 

Low-winging moth-owl, home to your sleep!

Ghost Lake's a still lake, a cold lake and deep.

Faint in its shadows a far sound whirs.

Black stand the ranks of its sentineled firs.

 

BENET

______________________________

 

Published by

WORDS OF WILLIAM

 

©2017

     William F. Carawan

     "Poetry Guy"

 

All rights reserved

Boston, Massachusetts U.S.A.

______________________________

 COMMENT SECTION

 

I interviewed and hired a blue cow (see picture below) with a one of a kind attitude! Her name is Sally, although she says "sassy" is what most people call her...and I can understand why.

 

She recently arrived in the USA from a very tiny country called Kows'r'blu. In fact it is so tiny...that no one seems to know where it is located. Sally says its' one claim to fame is a small population (or herd) of blue cows which are not found anywhere else in the world. She says that makes her very rare and special! And I might add...seems to be the main cause of her attitude.

 

Sally has agreed to manage the "Comment Section" of my blog. She will get paid by commission based strictly on the tally of comments for that months' blog post. She seems to think that her attitude will be a big help in reaching that goal. And I can only imagine that it certainly will.

 

AFTER LEAVING A COMMENT BELOW

SCROLL TO TOP AND DOUBLE-CLICK BLOG BUTTON AGAIN

TO READ NEXT BLOG POST

_____________________________

 

This is your opportunity!

 

So, why don't you leave a comment?

 

I would love to know what you think.

 

Don't be shy...moooove me!

 

Comments: 6
  • #6

    Steve (Saturday, 30 December 2023 22:54)

    Sorry for a double post but after going through your blog I see that you are from Massachusetts. The pond I spoke of in my earlier post is in Abington, MA. It straddles the Brockton-Abington line and we called in Mills Pond. I found out in my later years it is called Hunt's Pond which was a "mill pond".

  • #5

    Steve (Saturday, 30 December 2023 22:43)

    One of my favorite poems as well! In fact I am not a big reader of poetry but this stuck out to me as it was read to us in elementary school. I lived near a pond and there was a time when I was the last skater and it was getting dark. As I made my way back across the pond I could hear the cracks of the ice and became a bit scared. There was nobody else and I pumped my legs and repeated in my head "Jeremy Randal skates, skates late"
    I never did that again and the poem was always remembered.

  • #4

    Bobby (Thursday, 21 May 2020 11:28)

    Showed my wife the vision of Greece video and she loved it! We got married in Santorini, Greece and it's her Happy Place.
    Hope everyone in your circle is healthy and safe during these difficult times. Looking forward to human interaction.

    BE KIND TO YOUR NEIGHBORS.........and everyone else.

  • #3

    Crystal (Monday, 29 May 2017 21:29)

    This poem created a little scenario in my head which I enjoyed. The poem also reminds me of a similar one I read from Robert Frost, I cannot remember the title at the moment. Perhaps they worked together at some point in their lives!

  • #2

    Laura (Monday, 29 May 2017 15:48)

    Beautiful poem. Writing has definitely changed over the years, but early writing is so graceful and interesting.
    Would love to read more about your family if you care to share more stories.

  • #1

    Shelley (Friday, 05 May 2017 23:03)

    Your blog idea is very interesting ... will keep me checking in every month for updates.
    Glad you kept on to 're-find' this poem and use it as a kick-off to your blog, it is haunting.
    Case in point, it haunted you for years to pursue finding it once again and you did...teaches me
    to always expect success. I love the poem, can see why you wanted to find it again...
    Haunting stirs a soul to reach for the stars...