My dear mysterious curator, Miriam Dym, has submitted a poem for me to riff on.
It is a short poem. You can read it for yourself (perhaps you already have?). Let’s read it together again.
First stanza: forsythias (yellow flowers)
lilacs (purple flowers)
wretchedness of each of us
Second stanza: Sluggish days. But…
Contradictions: beginning or
when roses blow….
There is very little to say about this. It is rhythmic, a song about life (and death).
What can I say about the roses blowing? It is an image that conjures something very good.
The only way I can think to riff is to give you a poem I wrote last year, which Gottfried Benn’s mention of forsythias and lilacs made me remember…
Can a Poet Write a Poem
Can a poet write a poem
Without knowing the proper names of plants?
Sea-glory, bud-of-summer, tinctura mellifluvia,
Do not exist. Does it matter
If they do or not?
Why not write the way I think?
Which do not include the proper names of plants.
Would this give too much away?
After lunch I think I’ll sit in the sun
For a little while
Among the flowers.