The Cascading House

April 25, 2016

My three previous blogs—including the last one, “Dispelling a Ghost at Fallingwater,” the stunning accomplishment of architect Frank Lloyd Wright—are the fruits of a long weekend with my wife Diana to Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, celebrating our 2016 anniversary. Here is one more, a poem about Fallingwater written in a style I have developed and call improvisational rhyming. (It is perhaps most effective when read aloud.)

In contrast to traditional rhymed poems or even free verse, this style allows me a more “organic” approach, creating a unique form that fits its function—in this case the flow and falling of water and the oneness of waterfall and house.

I wish Wright could have seen it. I try to do in poetry what he did in architecture. He once said, “Every great architect is—necessarily—a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age.”

From there, clear lanquid waters like liquid windows mirror skies, soon run adept down steep stone steps, adopt shared space, adapt form, sound, become this masterpiece place, this endless- ly cascading house. —Joe Nickell 2016