February: Thinking of Flowers by Jane Kenyon
turning the white surface back
on itself, back and back on itself,
like an animal licking a wound.
Nothing but white—the air, the light;
only one brown milkweed pod
bobbing in the gully, smallest
brown boat on the immense tide
A single green sprouting thing
would restore me . . .
Then think of the tall delphinium,
swaying, or the bee when it comes
to the tongue of the burgundy lily.
I like how this poem progresses—a conversation with herself, but not stuck—moving.
First, a description, as if she’s looking out a window–
Nothing but white—the air, the light
Then the longing—
A single green sprouting thing would restore me.
The pause . . .
And then the response—to her own self, to us—
Then think of the tall delphinium
One of the things I like best about writing is the way it can keep an internal conversation moving. Thoughts have this tendency—well, mine—to sometimes get stuck in one place. Say, that wind-tormented field, which can, in turn lead, at times, to a kind of loop of wind and torment. But writing—something happens—a green thing can sprout. A blue delphinium. A burgundy lily.
Read more about Jane Kenyon at the Poetry Foundation