Tuesday, June 18, 2013

These Poems, She Said

 These poems, these poems,
these poems, she said, are poems
with no love in them. These are the poems of a man 
who would leave his wife and child because 
they made noise in his study. These are the poems 
of a man who would murder his mother to claim 
the inheritance. These are the poems of a man 
like Plato, she said, meaning something I did not 
comprehend but which nevertheless
offended me. These are the poems of a man
who would rather sleep with himself than with women, 
she said. These are the poems of a man
with eyes like a drawknife, with hands like a pickpocket’s 
hands, woven of water and logic
and hunger, with no strand of love in them. These 
poems are as heartless as birdsong, as unmeant  
as elm leaves, which if they love love only 
the wide blue sky and the air and the idea
of elm leaves. Self-love is an ending, she said, 
and not a beginning. Love means love
of the thing sung, not of the song or the singing. 
These poems, she said....
                                       You are, he said,
                That is not love, she said rightly.

Robert Bringhurst, “These Poems, She Said” from The Beauty of the Weapons: Selected Poems 1972-1982. Copyright © 1982 by Robert Bringhurst. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press