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Apollinaire

Apollinaire

The Widow’s Lament in Springtime

By William Carlos Williams

Sorrow is my own yard

where the new grass

flames as it has flamed

often before, but not

with the cold fire

that closes round me this year.

Thirty-five years

I lived with my husband.

The plum tree is white today

with masses of flowers.

Masses of flowers

load the cherry branches

and color some bushes

yellow and some red,

but the grief in my heart

is stronger than they,

for though they were my joy

formerly, today I notice them

and turn away forgetting.

Today my son told me

that in the meadows,

at the edge of the heavy woods

in the distance, he saw

trees of white flowers.

I feel that I would like

to go there

and fall into those flowers

and sink into the marsh near them.

Rain on Tin
By Rodney Jones
 
If I ever get over the bodies of women, I am going to think of the rain,
of waiting under the eaves of an old house
at that moment
when it takes a form like fog.
It makes the mountain vanish.
Then the smell of rain, which is the smell of the earth a plow turns up,
only condensed and refined.
Almost fifty years since thunder rolled
and the nerves woke like secret agents under the skin.
Brazil is where I wanted to live.
The border is not far from here.
Lonely and grateful would be my way to end,
and something for the pain please,
a little purity to sand the rough edges,
a slow downpour from the Dark Ages,
a drizzle from the Pleistocene.
As I dream of the rain’s long body,
I will eliminate from mind all the qualities that rain deletes
and then I will be primed to study rain’s power,
the first drops lightly hallowing,
but now and again a great gallop of the horse of rain
or an explosion of orange-green light.
A simple radiance, it requires no discipline.
Before I knew women, I knew the lonely pleasures of rain.
The mist and then the clearing.
I will listen where the lightning thrills the rooster up a willow,
and my whole life flowing
until I have no choice, only the rain,
and I step into it.
-Baudelaire

-Baudelaire

Prompts

Prompts

A Landscape
Charles Baudelaire

I would, when I compose my solemn verse,
Sleep near the heaven as do astrologers,
Near the high bells, and with a dreaming mind
Hear their calm hymns blown to me on the wind.

Out of my tower, with chin upon my hands,
I’ll watch the singing, babbling human bands;
And see clock-towers like spars against the sky,
And heavens that bring thoughts of eternity;
  
And softly, through the mist, will watch the birth
Of stars in heaven and lamplight on the earth;
The threads of smoke that rise above the town;
The moon that pours her pale enchantment down.
  
Seasons will pass till Autumn fades the rose;
And when comes Winter with his weary snows,
I’ll shut the doors and window-casements tight,
And build my faery palace in the night.
  
Then I will dream of blue horizons deep;
Of gardens where the marble fountains weep;
Of kisses, and of ever-singing birds–
A sinless Idyll built of innocent words.
  
And Trouble, knocking at my window-pane
And at my closet door, shall knock in vain;
I will not heed him with his stealthy tread,
Nor from my reverie uplift my head;
  
For I will plunge deep in the pleasure still
Of summoning the spring-time with my will,
Drawing the sun out of my heart, and there
With burning thoughts making a summer air.

-translated by F.P. Sturm

What’s Broken
BY DORIANNE LAUX

The slate black sky. The middle step
of the back porch. And long ago

my mother’s necklace, the beads
rolling north and south. Broken

the rose stem, water into drops, glass
knobs on the bedroom door. Last summer’s

pot of parsley and mint, white roots
shooting like streamers through the cracks.

Years ago the cat’s tail, the bird bath,
the car hood’s rusted latch. Broken

little finger on my right hand at birth—
I was pulled out too fast. What hasn’t

been rent, divided, split? Broken
the days into nights, the night sky

into stars, the stars into patterns
I make up as I trace them

with a broken-off blade
of grass. Possible, unthinkable,

the cricket’s tiny back as I lie
on the lawn in the dark, my heart

a blue cup fallen from someone’s hands.

"Music is God"