In the Key-Chords of Dawn * Poetry

Every fan of Stephen king must have heard about the fact that this multi-talented man also did poetry.


Date Published: January 1971

In the key-chords of dawn
all waters are depthless.
The fish flash recalls
timberline clefts where water
pours between the rocks of frost.
We live the night and wait
for the day dream
(we fished the Mississippi with
Norville as children
catching mostly crawdaddies from
the brown silk water)
when we say “love is responsibility”;
our poles are adrift in a sea of compliments.
Now you fish for me and I for you.
The line, the red bobber, the worm on the hook: the fishing more than the
eating: bones and scales and gutting knife make a loom of complexity so we are
forced to say “fishing is responsibility”
and put away our poles

Beginning with an image of “depthless” water in the “keychords of dawn,” the poem uses fishing as a metaphor for responsibility. The first stanza emphasizes freedom through the images of flashing fish and running water; the second suggests the incremental approach of adult awareness (love / is responsibility), fully developed in the last stanza in which fishing becomes responsibility and thus is put away.

The Many Facets of Stephen King
 By Michael R. Collings

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