Thursday, December 17, 2009


[Ring of life by forgetfulio]

Another ring on the bark,
another year of living out "I do",
another year of receiving and giving grace.

It's my wedding anniversary today. Here is a poem that I've posted on Poetry Friday before, but it is so perfect, I'll post it again:

Superbly Situated

by Robert Hershon

you politely ask me not to die and i promise not to
right from the beginning—a relationship based on
good sense and thoughtfulness in little things

i would like to be loved for such simple attainments
as breathing regularly and not falling down too often
or because my eyes are brown or my father left-handed

and to be on the safe side i wouldn’t mind if somehow
i became entangled in your perception of admirable objects
so you might say to yourself: i have recently noticed

how superbly situated the empire state building is

The rest of the poem is here.

Do you have a favorite poem or passage about love and marriage and commitment? Would love to read it.


storyqueen said...

Congratulations! And that is a lovely poem. My anniversary is coming up, a few days after the poem has special meaning for me!


Bish Denham said...

Congratulations! And what a wonderful poem. Thanks for sharing it.

Corey Schwartz said...

Oh, how lovely.

At our wedding, we used song lyrics from Rent in our vows:

There's only us.
There's only this.
Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.
No other road.
No other way.
No day but today.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Happy Anniversary! Here is Love's Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle -
Why not I with thine?

See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea -
What are all these kissings worth
If thou kiss not me?

Davin Malasarn said...

Happy Happy Anniversary, Yat-Yee!

Here's my favorite poem about love. I think it's about love. :P



In sixth grade Mrs. Walker
slapped the back of my head
and made me stand in the corner
for not knowing the difference
between persimmon and precision.
How to choose

persimmons. This is precision.
Ripe ones are soft and brown-spotted.
Sniff the bottoms. The sweet one
will be fragrant. How to eat:
put the knife away, lay down newspaper.
Peel the skin tenderly, not to tear the meat.
Chew the skin, suck it,
and swallow. Now, eat
the meat of the fruit,
so sweet,
all of it, to the heart.

Donna undresses, her stomach is white.
In the yard, dewy and shivering
with crickets, we lie naked,
face-up, face-down.
I teach her Chinese.
Crickets: chiu chiu. Dew: I’ve forgotten.
Naked: I’ve forgotten.
Ni, wo: you and me.
I part her legs,
remember to tell her
she is beautiful as the moon.

Other words
that got me into trouble were
fight and fright, wren and yarn.
Fight was what I did when I was frightened,
Fright was what I felt when I was fighting.
Wrens are small, plain birds,
yarn is what one knits with.
Wrens are soft as yarn.
My mother made birds out of yarn.
I loved to watch her tie the stuff;
a bird, a rabbit, a wee man.

Mrs. Walker brought a persimmon to class
and cut it up
so everyone could taste
a Chinese apple. Knowing
it wasn’t ripe or sweet, I didn’t eat
but watched the other faces.

My mother said every persimmon has a sun
inside, something golden, glowing,
warm as my face.

Once, in the cellar, I found two wrapped in newspaper,
forgotten and not yet ripe.
I took them and set both on my bedroom windowsill,
where each morning a cardinal
sang, The sun, the sun.

Finally understanding
he was going blind,
my father sat up all one night
waiting for a song, a ghost.
I gave him the persimmons,
swelled, heavy as sadness,
and sweet as love.

This year, in the muddy lighting
of my parents’ cellar, I rummage, looking
for something I lost.
My father sits on the tired, wooden stairs,
black cane between his knees,
hand over hand, gripping the handle.
He’s so happy that I’ve come home.
I ask how his eyes are, a stupid question.
All gone, he answers.

Under some blankets, I find a box.
Inside the box I find three scrolls.
I sit beside him and untie
three paintings by my father:
Hibiscus leaf and a white flower.
Two cats preening.
Two persimmons, so full they want to drop from the cloth.

He raises both hands to touch the cloth,
asks, Which is this?

This is persimmons, Father.

Oh, the feel of the wolftail on the silk,
the strength, the tense
precision in the wrist.
I painted them hundreds of times
eyes closed. These I painted blind.
Some things never leave a person:
scent of the hair of one you love,
the texture of persimmons,
in your palm, the ripe weight.

Lady Glamis said...

What an incredible poem! And Davin, wow, thanks for sharing that one, too. I love poetry. All this poetry is making me want to write and read more poetry. I could eat, breath, and sleep with poetry forever. Here, let's share one right now. I wrote this after my boyfriend broke up with me in college and started dating my best friend. They are married now. We called this poems (with no breaks - runons)

He tells me that things are not the same,

or I imply that, like adding my own amount of sugar to the cake or butter to the cookies, it's like cutting a string I thought was there the entire time, like my body thin as parchment, you can even see the clouds through my skin, the sun, the stars, I have swallowed the sky and I'm still begging for something sweeter, not lips on mine or fingers closed around palms, not that closeness, but something softer, like the down beneath the feathers or the blossoms before the leaves, some people call it friendship, but I call it survival, he says some of it is left, it is occasional, I believe him, but still feel my throat tighten when I taste the sugarless cake, when the goose learns to fly with real feathers, when the final wind of spring comes just a moment too early for me to gather all the blossoms in one wanting armful, the scent of summer has never been as sweet as those spring rains.

Lady Glamis said...

Okay, here's one of my favorites that's not by me. :)

Arches and Shadows

He proposed to me on the Ferris wheel --
I nearly fell off!--and once we dived
off the board holding hands, I remember,
thought not very clearly. O it may not have been
croquet on the lawn and twenty for dinner,
but we had our times, sir, and I had mine,
awaiting election returns with the old crowd
before I left. In Trieste I said promise
you'll always love me, I actually said that,
and at the fair in Brussels I made
an extremely witty remark. A white puppy
followed me all one afternoon, all
around the race track. He promised;
he said we would live in a houseboat--
raise ponies--sell apples--dry flowers--
all this in a peat-fire pub on Exmoore;
I was sunburned all over, even my hands.
Now in November when the cat wants out early,
it's your face I see in the folds of my dress in the chair.
I'll meet you in March in Alberta;
today I sewed a pleat and cut a lemon in your name,
thinking: then I will travel the Great Northern Railways
and we can talk things over, sitting down.

~Annie Dillard

Lady Glamis said...

And oh my heavens, just one more. I'm sorry! This is by my friend in college, Missy Fox Rose.


I have a dream.
I'm a Pisces baby, hot and headless
like a bloody chicken in the yard,
only I have lips I wish you'd kiss.
Look at the life I've drawn out in the water,
distorted, like the belly of a spoon,
or a water, heated street at noon.
The clear face is yours.
I'm a blur, like the picture at the piano,
like your fingers as they danced.
I have a dream.
It comes when your ghost hands are on my waist.
You draw me in, uncertain,
like your mouth when I knock on the door
and raise my bloodless knuckles to your lips
and whisper, "How much do you love me?
'Cause I'm moving in."

Lady Glamis said...

Oh, and Happy Anniversary! :D

Yat-Yee said...

Thank you SO MUCH, everyone for your wishes and lovely poems.

Michelle: a poem each by you and Annie Dillard and your friend! I am so blessed.

Shelley: congrats on your anniversary as well.

Davin: definitely about love. I think maybe somewhere I was trying to get to the emotion of this poem with my short story.

Corey: love Rent.

Tricia: why not I with thine. Indeed.

MG Higgins said...

Happy anniversary, Yat-Yee, and what beautiful poetry from you and everyone! Wow.

Speaking of passing on the love, I've tagged you. It doesn't take too long and it's kind of interesting. You can get the details at my blog.