Wednesday, 24 of May of 2017

Category » Stanley Kunitz

Stanley Kunitz- Hornworm

Hornworm-tgn

Tomato_Hornworm_in_hand2
 
 
 
Since that first morning when I crawled
into the world, a naked grubby thing,
and found the world unkind,
my dearest faith has been that this
is but a trial: I shall be changed.
In my imaginings I have already spent
my brooding winter underground,
unfolded silky powdered wings, and climbed
into the air, free as a puff of cloud
to sail over the steaming fields,
alighting anywhere I pleased,
thrusting into deep tubular flowers.

It is not so: there may be nectar
in those cups, but not for me.
All day, all night, I carry on my back
embedded in my flesh, two rows
hornworm_waspof little white cocoons,
so neatly stacked
they look like eggs in a crate.
And I am eaten half away.

If I can gather strength enough
I’ll try to burrow under a stone
and spin myself a purse
in which to sleep away the cold;
though when the sun kisses the earth
again, I know I won’t be there.
Instead, out of my chrysalis
will break, like robbers from a tomb,
a swarm of parasitic flies,
leaving my wasted husk behind.

Sir, you with the red snippers
in your hand, hovering over me,
casting your shadow, I greet you,
whether you come as an angel of death
or of mercy. But tell me,
before you choose to slice me in two:
Who can understand the ways
of the Great Worm in the Sky?


Stanley Kunitz – Snakes of September

From Wikipedia: Stanley Jasspon Kunitz (29 July 1905 – 14 May 2006) was an American poet. He was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress twice, first in 1974 and then again in 2000.

…Kunitz’s poetry has won praise from all circles as being profound and well written. He continued to write and publish as late as 2005, at the age of 100. Many believe his poetry’s symbolism is influenced significantly by the work of Carl Jung. Kunitz was an influence on many 20th century poets, including James Wright, Mark Doty, Louise Glück, and Carolyn Kizer.
 
 
 
All summer I heard them
rustling in the shrubbery,
outracing me from tier
to tier in my garden,
a whisper among the viburnums,
a signal flashed from the hedgerow,
a shadow pulsing
in the barberry thicket.
 
Now that the nights are chill
and the annuals spent,
I should have thought them gone,
in a torpor of blood
slipped to the nether world
before the sickle frost.
 
Not so.
 
In the deceptive balm
of noon, as if defiant of the curse
that spoiled another garden,
these two appear on show
through a narrow slit
in the dense green brocade
of a north-country spruce,
dangling head-down, entwined
in a brazen love-knot.
 
I put out my hand and stroke
the fine, dry grit of their skins.
 
After all,
we are partners in this land,
co-signers of a covenant.
At my touch the wild
braid of creation
trembles.
 

 

 


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