Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Lonely Street

The Lonely Street

School is over. It is too hot
to walk at ease. At ease
in light frocks they walk the streets
to while the time away.
They have grown tall. They hold
pink flames in their right hands.
In white from head to foot,
with sidelong, idle look--
in yellow, floating stuff,
black sash and stockings--
touching their avid mouths
with pink sugar on a stick--
like a carnation each holds in her hand--
they mount the lonely street.

William Carlos Williams

(Steve here): I don't pretend to know much about poetry. I can't start to tell you why one line ends here, and another there. Nor why the poet chooses this, rather than that.

They teach me to hear the music in the language. They show me images that strike the soul and linger a lifetime. They make me a better writer.

And sometimes, sometimes a poem uses feather touches of language to brush against a feeling so delicate, so ephemeral, that to grasp it directly would kill it.


Susan Miller said...'re right I think. I've always been threatened by writing poetry like it had some rules that were unspoken and my rhymthm was off. I don't sing like etain or maleah or dawn....their words flow with these beautiful and strong feminine voices.

But, like you, I do enjoy hearing the music of poetry and hope to tap into something that is surely in all of us.

Charles Gramlich said...

Some writers are virtually poets in prose. A lot of Robert E. Howard's fantasy was like that. Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian" was like that for me. I love good rhythmic prose, and good poetry as well.