Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Flowers: Lily of the Incas

Alstroemeria: Peruvian Lily

First Thanksgiving
(By Sharon Olds)

When she comes back, from college, I will see
the skin of her upper arms, cool,
matte, glossy. She will hug me, my old
soupy chest against her breasts,
I will smell her hair! She will sleep in this apartment,
her sleep like an untamed, good object,
like a soul in a body. She came into my life the
second great arrival, after him, fresh
from the other world - which lay, from within him,
within me. Those nights, I fed her to sleep,
week after week, the moon rising,
and setting, and waxing - whirling, over the months,
in a slow blur, around our planet.
Now she doesn't need love like that, she has
had it. She will walk in glowing, we will talk,
and then, when she's fast asleep, I'll exult
to have her in that room again,
behind that door! As a child, I caught
bees, by the wings, and held them, some seconds,
looked into their wild faces,
listened to them sing, then tossed them back
into the air - I remember the moment the
arc of my toss swerved, and they entered
the corrected curve of their departure.

Although Sharon Olds' birthday is November 19, I figured we could bump her up a day to showcase this wonderful poem from her Blood, Tin, Straw collection, published in 1999. Although I'm not the biggest fan of her works, I do feel as though she's become the "punching bag" for anti-confessionalist aesthetics in poetry. Moreover, the impact of her poetry is more often found in sound and structure, rather than "meaning" or premise. In this regard, her handling of cadence is really exceptional and admirable.

I wonder if contemporary critics bother to read poetry aloud anymore.

Altsroemeria: Lily of the Incas

And why the alstroemeria? They're hardy flowers, not flashy, not famous, low to the ground, but, when you take the time to examine them, their wild beauty and subtle color are wonderful to behold.

Much like the poetry of Sharon Olds. ;-)

Alstroemeria: A group of "Ulster Marys"

Here are a few vids:

"Sex Without Love" by Sharon Olds


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