Friday, May 30, 2008

Poems and Those Who Read Them

A New Poet

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.

Linda Pastan , Heroes In Disguise , W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.


Selecting A Reader

First, I would have her be beautiful,
and walking carefully up on my poetry
at the loneliest moment of an afternoon,
her hair still damp at the neck
from washing it. She should be wearing
a raincoat, an old one, dirty
from not having money enough for the cleaners.
She will take out her glasses, and there
in the bookstore, she will thumb
over my poems, then put the book back
up on its shelf. She will say to herself,
"For that kind of money, I can get
my raincoat cleaned." And she will.

Ted Kooser, From Delights & Shadows, published by Copper Canyon Press, 2004

2 comments:

Alice said...

I do like the poetry you post. Wish I were able to say so much in so few words! But then why should I? I'd much rather read than (try to) write it.

sharryb said...

I really enjoyed both these poems, but especially Selecting a Reader.

Blessings,
Sharry