Saturday, July 28, 2007

Is It Hot in Here, or Is It Just Me?

Here's a poem I love by Lisel Mueller:

Magnolia

This year spring and summer decided
to make it quick, roll themselves into one
season of three days
and steam right out of winter.
In the front yard the reluctant
magnolia buds lost control
and suddenly stood wide open.
Two days later their pale pink silks
heaped up around the trunk
like cast-off petticoats.

Remember how long spring used to take?
And how long from the first locking of fingers
to the first real kiss? And after that
the other eternity, endless motion
toward the undoing of a button?


Some of what I admire: the speed with which she gets right down to it, the elegance of the simile that ends stanza 1, the feeling of direct address, and the turn as she enters stanza 2. What an odd leap from the compression of the seasons to the speed with which lovers these days hop into bed before a real courtship. Surprising, yet utterly credible and prepared for. I love her implication that today something is missed, i.e., the exquisiteness of desire that takes its time. Notice, too, that the second stanza consists of just three questions, no statements. For me, that raises the temperature several degrees. This poem grows in intensity with repeated readings.

1 comment :

  1. MA`M....i m an amateur, and i have been reading ur blog for past week and this is the first poem which i tried to read out...sorry to say i cant get anything out of these stanzas(except second)...so if u have time then please give me a brief idea about the first stanza..i m not familiar to such poems so it would help me in improving myself...thanks

    ReplyDelete

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