Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mo Po.

A Sort of a Song

Let the snake wait under
his weed
and the writing
be of words, slow and quick, sharp
to strike, quiet to wait,
– through metaphor to reconcile
the people and the stones.
Compose. (No ideas
but in things) Invent!
Saxifrage is my flower that splits
the rocks.

---William Carlos Williams


Lisa B. said...

I have always loved the last two lines so much, especially the possessive--"Saxifrage is my flower that splits/ the rocks."
Saxifrage is cool, both the flower and the word.

jw said...

John Ciardi has a nice (at least useful) rephrasing of this poem he calls "The Lyric Pulse"

Let the serpent bide under
his frond
and the vision
be of words, languid and lithe, tempered
to thrust, silent to bide,

--through fantasy to harmonize
spiritual and material.
Create! (No dream
but in being) Give form!
Saxifrage is my bloom that cleaves
the crags.

I love how Ciardi's isn't crappy but it lacks... something. When I showed both the Williams and Ciardi's side-by-side they collectively nodded and recognized... um, something.

Renaissance Girl said...

something understood?

Blue Cheese said...

So much depends on the perfect WCW poem.