A New Poet
by Linda Pastan
Finding a new poet
is like finding a new wildflower
out in the woods. You don't see
its name in the flower books, and
nobody you tell believes
in its odd color or the way
its leaves grow in splayed rows
down the whole length of the page. In fact
the very page smells of spilled
red wine and the mustiness of the sea
on a foggy day - the odor of truth
and of lying.
And the words are so familiar,
so strangely new, words
you almost wrote yourself, if only
in your dreams there had been a pencil
or a pen or even a paintbrush,
if only there had been a flower.
from Heroes In Disguise, 1991
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, NY
The glory of the day was in her face,
The beauty of the night was in her eyes.
And over all her loveliness, the grace
Of Morning blushing in the early skies.
For My [Grand]Daughter
by David Ignatow
from Against the Evidence: Selected Poems 1934-1994
Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, Conn.
When I die choose a star
and name it after me
that you may know
I have not abandoned
or forgotten you.
You were such a star to me,
following you through birth
and childhood, my hand
in your hand.
When I die
choose a star and name it
after me so that I may shine
down on you, until you join
me in darkness and silence
I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it....
People think pleasing God is all God cares about.
But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.
— Alice Walker,
The Color Purple, 1982
passion on the back porch