Monday, April 18, 2005

A Variety Of Women As Observed By A New Jersey Obstretician With A Genuis For Poetry 

Continuing our April doesn't have to be the cruelest month-long celebration of Poetry if we actually celebrate it by reading some poetry, as inspired by Rox Populi, and if you missed this entry, "For Amy," (she means Amy Sullivan), in Roxanne's own celebration of National Poetry Month, click here; a wonderful, generous example of how politics is not immune to poetry; the reverse is also true, of course, which can be a good thing, and a bad thing, too.

The Young Housewife

At ten A.M. the young housewife
moves about in negligee behind
wooden walls of her husband's house.
I pass solitary in my car.

Then again she comes to the curb
to call the ice-man, fish-man, and stands.
shy, uncorseted, tucking in
stray ends of hair, and I compare her
to a fallen leaf.

The noiseless wheels of my car
rush with a crackling sound over
dried leaves as I bow and pass smiling.

To a Poor Old Woman

menching a plum on
the street a proper bag
of them in her hand

They taste good to her
They taste good
to her.They taste
good to her

You can see it by
the way she gives herself
to the last half
sucked out in her hand

a solace of ripe plums
seeming to fill the air
They taste good to her.

Portrait of a Lady

Your thighs are appletrees
whose blossoms touch the sky.
Which sky? The sky
where Watteau hung a lady's
slipper. Your knees
are a southern breeze--or
a gust of snow. Agh! what
sort of man was Fragonard?
--as if that answered
anything. Ah, yes--below
the knees, since the tune
drops that way, it is
one of those white summer days,
the tall grass of your ankles
flickers upon the shore--
Which shore?--
Agh, petals maybe. How
should I know?
Which shore? Which shore?
I said petals from an appletree.

To Waken An Old Lady

Old age is
a flight of small
cheeping birds
bare trees
above a snow glaze.
Gaining and failing
they are buffeted
by a dark wind--
But what?
On hard weedstalks
the flock has rested,
the snow
is covered with broken
and the wind tempered
by a shrill piping of plenty.

From Selected Poems: William Carlos Williams

Courtesy of Randall Jarrell: A series of words to describe the man, the physician, the poet: outspoken, good-hearted, generous, fresh, sympathetic, enthusiastic, spontaneos, open, impulsive, emotional, observant, curious, rash, courageous, undignified, unaffted, humanitarian, experimental, empirical, liberal, secular, democratic. (emphasis mine) And he made house calls.

Paterson, his great epic poem set in the granite, green, watery landscape of a small New Jersey industrial city, is a poem should be required reading for every American (but with no quiz), and not only because my father, a man very much in the mode of WC Williams, was born and bred there.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
~ current ~

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