Monday, December 27, 2010

Magpie Beauty

This morning we packed up all the Xmas candy and put it in the kitchen cabinets. That doesn't mean I haven't visited those cabinets today, but at least one is less likely to grab handfuls.

This poem was in Poetry Daily, the poem from last year.  I love the "magpie beauty" and the first stanza, especially. Gonna use that for a title. I'm going to try, anyway. Here's the poem, by Frank Bidart:

For an Unwritten Opera

Once you had a secret love: seeing
even his photo, a window is flung open
high in the airless edifice that is you.

Though everything looks as if it is continuing
just as before, it is not, it is continuing
in a new way (sweet lingo O'Hara and Ashbery

teach). That's not how you naturally speak:
you tell yourself, first, that he is not the air
you need; second, that you loathe air.

As a boy you despised the world for replacing
God with another addiction, love.
Despised yourself. Was there no third thing?

But every blue moon the skeptical, the adamantly
disabused find themselves, like you,
returned to life by a secret: like him, in you.

Now you understand Janácek at
seventy, in love with a much younger
married woman, chastely writing her.

As in Mozart song remains no matter how
ordinary, how flawed the personae. For us poor
mortals: private accommodations. Magpie beauty.

Frank Bidart 
The Threepenny Review 

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