Saturday, January 08, 2011

August Peonies

There's a good study to be written about one-sentence poems (or perhaps it has been written already). Here's the one-sentence poem on Poetry Daily today:


Lallygagging on bent stems, late
this year because of the snow
in May, their rag-tag magenta
cluster-heads freshen the still heat
like a rush of wind in the leaves
or the cool brush of deep sea
crinolines as the ripple kiss
of a breeze opens their bunched petals
just enough to let them breathe
before they ease back
into light repose, poised
at the edge of time-lapse
attention, like us, who lose
momentum in the heavy air
rich with the scent of ripening
wheat that drifts in from the fields
over the slow-moving river
as the afternoon nods and lengthens
into shade, into thoughtfulness,
and the sky deploys an argosy
of softly tinted clouds, fresh
blooms without stems
that sail where we cannot
go, all the way to the edge
of everything where daylight looks
back, once, then disappears.

George Amabile
The Malahat Review
Fall 2010

And here's a favorite one-sentence poem of mine, by a poet, Sarah Wardle, who is particularly good at one-sentence poems:


When I'm walking in the city

past banks of offices and shop windows,

noticing the leaf-fall of litter,

as I'm swept along by a stream of feet,

I imagine I'm strolling in the country

past crowds of trees and parked hedgerows,

hearing the breeze change up a year

and the river roar, like a main street.

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