Saturday, July 6, 2013

6 July 2013

Stanley & Adrienne

The street I live and write in
was not a left-wing poet.
I also think of Bernstein,
wild and metaphysic heart —

the risk-taking of one who
makes my poems and lives my life
heavy as the white-lipped boy
from my whole erotic self.

My mother never forgave
your life for the privilege.
My themes and the use I have
dream of a common language.

Images glimpses questions,
art with economic power
are mindful of your garden —
the poet-scholar-martyr.

Bowels of the hippodrome,
great crashing alexandrines,
comets trailing tender spume —
edge of meaning yet can mean.

My mother’s breast was thorny —
think the art of translation,
if anything, makes poetry
your turn. Grass of confusion

is something more powerful —
the cry of writhing nerve-ends,
impaired intellectual.
You are, in a word, avid.

[this poem of 7-syllable line, abab rhyming quatrains is a cento; each line is an unaltered excerpt from two books: Stanley Kunitz's Collected Poems Adrienne Rich's Arts of the Possible: Essays & Conversations]

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