Friday, February 1, 2013

one thing I love, or three: "I Wish in the City of your Heart"

I wish in the city of your heart
you would let me be the street
where you walk when you are most
yourself.  I imagine the houses:
It has been raining, but the rain
is done and the children kept home
have begun opening their doors.

I love this poem by Robley Wilson, though I have no desire to analyze it, or to spell out all the ways I love it and why.  If pressed I will say because it is like another poem I love, "The Open Shutter" translated from German by Kevin Perryman, written down first in German by Karl Krolow:

Someone pouring light
Out of the window.
The roses of air
And children
Playing in the street
Look up.
Pigeons nibble
At its sweetness.
Girls are beautiful
And men gentle
In this light.
But before the others say so
Someone shuts
The window again.

Except that this is the tragic moment -- a moment just as photographic, photographic meaning here light written down, just as photographic as the first -- but the moment of closing up and closing off, not of opening.  And so I cannot love this second poem exactly as I love the first poem.  Both poems though are stories I live.  And I do love them both.  So then I would have to explain that to understand either of these two and to understand my love for them, the key is a third poem, "Lindenbloom" by Amy Clampitt:

Before midsummer density
opaques with shade the checker-
tables underneath, in daylight
unleafing lindens burn
green-gold a day or two,
no more, with intimations
of an essence I saw once,
in what had been the pleasure-
garden of the popes
at Avignon, dishevel

into half (or possibly three-
quarters of) a million
hanging, intricately
tactile, blond bell-pulls
of bloom, the in-mid-air
resort of honeybees’
hirsute cotillion
teasing by the milligram
out of those necklaced
nectaries, aromas

so intensely subtle,
strollers passing under
looked up confused,
as though they’d just
heard voices, or
inhaled the ghost
of derelict splendor
and/or of seraphs shaken
into pollen dust
no transubstantiating
pope or antipope could sift
or quite precisely ponder.

And surely that must make everything utterly clear. 

1 comment:

Lisa B. said...

Well, I had not read a single one of these poems, and while I could not exactly explain how each provides a key into understanding why you loved the other two, I think I *do* understand, nonetheless. Thank you for these poems.

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