Saturday, April 2, 2011

National Poetry Month: 30 New Poems--Poem #2

My National Poetry Month series was inspired by a lack of time. I just haven't had time to keep up with my poetry reading (read about where I find poems here). I've read very few poems lately because of busy-ness in other areas of life (not complaining, I promise!) and I'm using NPM to inspire me to get caught up. And you, dear reader, get to benefit because as I comb through my RSS reader and email inbox this month, I'll be sharing the best with you. (Make sure you subscribe or'll be easier to follow along. And definitely worth it.)

So as I continue sharing poems that are new to me (and hopefully to you, too), I bring you the second installment:

Paestum Thunderstorm, Twenty Years On
By Jacqueline Osherow

It was otherworldly. You'd have been rapturous:
lightning over the temples \ wine-dark sky—
no one in that drenched expanse but us

unless you call the thunder a god's voice.
We were soaked completely through, the girls and I.
Even without the storm, you'd have been rapturous,

showing your girls your most beloved place
(that's how I billed it; it's why they came with me)
from our honeymoon travels. No one but us.

But you'd hate the new confinement to the grass.
Back then, we wandered each antiquity;
there's a whole roll of photographs: me, rapturous,

posed at column after column, my face
a likeness of its likeness in your eye. 

Please read the rest of this poem here. The story told here is haunting and emotional. I think it would strike a very deep chord with anyone who happens to be married. I know it does with me. I also love how the word "rapturous" works here. It's a great example of how words pull double and triple duty sometimes in poems. It's a word that captures intense pleasure, but it's also repeated as a way of linking husband, wife, and children--binding them together with the same adjective.

I hope you liked it. See you tomorrow.

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