Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Poem for Spring


Here's a very cool poem read by 77-year-old Nancy at last Saturday's poetry reading at Florence's house. Read it out loud to a friend.

Everyone Was in Love by Galway Kinnell

One day, when they were little, Maud and Fergus
appeared in the doorway naked and mirthful,
with a dozen long garter snakes draped over
each of them like brand-new clothes.
Snake tails dangled down their backs,
and snake foreparts in various lengths
fell over their fronts with heads raised and swaying,
alert as cobras. They were writhing their dry skins
upon each other, as snakes like doing
in lovemaking, with the added novelty
of caressing soft, smooth, moist human skin.
Maud and Fergus were deliciously pleased with themselves.
The snakes seemed to be tickled, too.
We were enchanted. Everyone was in love.
Then Maud drew down off Fergus’s shoulder,
as off a tie rack, a peculiarly
lumpy snake and told me to look inside.
Inside the double-hinged jaw, a frog’s green
webbed hind feet were being drawn,
like a diver’s, very slowly as if into deepest waters.
Perhaps thinking I might be considering rescue,
Maud said, "Don’t. Frog is already elsewhere."

4 Comments:

Blogger Kristin said...

I read this earlier this afternoon and wanted to think before commenting. I still want to think. It's been in my mind all afternoon.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Snakes give me the heebie jeebies so my skin crawled all the way to the last line, when I fell in love, too.

9:12 PM  
Blogger steve said...

I love this... the shock value is really high! its like "Star Trek" and "Watership Down" all rolled up into one. Not exactly a "Childs Garden of Verse".

9:22 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- It's actually a rather odd poem, but one that paints a vivid picture. I can understand thinking about a response.

Pauline -- I absolutely detest snakes also, so it is odd that this poem caught my interest. It made me rethink why I hate them so much because the snakes in this poem are a threat only to frogs!

Steve -- Exactly! We're just not quite ready for the punch line. And it doesn't even seem a cruel or unreasonable death for the frog.

9:36 AM  

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