By Sandra M. Gilbert
Sandra Gilbert's poems are fantastically located on the intersection of craft and feeling.—Billy CollinsThe identify of this collection—at instances mournful, sardonic, and joyous—refers to the grief within the wake of loss. but those poems aren't almost about the results of loss but in addition concerning the advanced reports of persistence, acquiescence, and rebirth that, with success, mark the aftermath of sorrow. from "Aftermath: Kite" But the concept is just paper in spite of everything, a soul that adheres to a stick, tears open, shreds as if it is flung to the floor in a last glossy fall, and finally the road is going limp, the hiking ends. Beyond the push & sweep, an arc of silence— though a brain imagined this flight, & proved it as soon as.
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Emily Bronte, Judith Wright, you both already counted up the wild fifteen when one's above, an other cold in the earth: ghostly, you tell me to whistle a different tunegive voice to the rock, find words for the bed of granite, and don't describe tough stuff in another sonnet! DECEMBER 1, 1957 I was twenty. You were twenty-seven. ) Our parents were fifty somethings & the grandparents in their seventies. Everybody wore hats. We ate Cornish game hens stuffed with wild rice. A string quartet played the waltzes from Rosen/cavalier.
We sat at the California wedding feast, chicken bones on our plates. "How," I began. . The little wrinkled cancer-riddled Danish mother lay at home, reading, and wheezing now and then. We mopped our plates with crusts of bread. The bride and groom were cutting into the first thick layer of cake. In Jutland foxes barked among the hills. The daughter wore silky red and black, and on the misty island of Fan0, where the mother was born, the tall waves of the North Sea broke and broke. �9 How ' WE DIDN T TELL HER that the housekeeper said that the gardener said that someone named Jean or Jeannie or Jenny who was his friend or maybe his boss had said that today that just today he was hit by a car & he was killed he died at once in the prime of his handsome youth he who was her youngest her onetime baby ice-cream cone with dimpled arms & scrumptious tummy he who gardened & prayed for purity on earth but we said let's wait let's 30 wait to tell her till we're sure & we called the gardener the housekeeper the irrigation lady the police the coroner the highway patrol the neighbors we called everyone but her until at last the gardener said no no how could the housekeeper get it so wrong it wasn't him it was someone else who was hit by a car& killed today & we rejoiced & were glad we hadn't told her because his handsome flesh his pulsing prime returned to us as a gift more precious than before & as for the other one, the other mother's son who really died 31 today we let him go we didn't give him another thought.
A string quartet played the waltzes from Rosen/cavalier. Cousins & fathers& brothers uttered toasts. When we cut the cake, Monsieur Charles, the maitre-d', surprised you with a cupcake on which a single candle rode. ) There was white satin, as usual, & the usual rice. We had three children, four grandchildren -a little girl you never met is at this moment crying in the next room, & the sun is climbing over the cypresses. As is customary, more than two thirds of the party are now dead, including of course you, and who will wave and smile in the backseat of the car, 47 who will roll down the window and let in the cold air?
Aftermath: Poems by Sandra M. Gilbert