I post this today not only because it is nice to have a poem every day e-mailed to me, but because this one connects a poet with a place. The concept of place is important to me and permeates what I write. Amy Newman in her remarks connects pets' lives with their work, and that is a connection we often fail to make. When we do not make that connection, we miss out on a lot, in my opinion. Enjoy!
its tricolor streamers floating and trailing.
It takes up the air like a determined child.
Plath was riding her horses of need,
and then breaking them, one by one.
The horse of loneliness, the horse of panic.
The horse of the Sacre Coeur's calcite-and-rainwater white
piped on Montmartre like a wedding cake.
The horse of the wallpaper powdered with rosebuds.
The horse of weeping in the charming vestibule.
The horse of the park's green geometry,
of the mushroom's black underpleats.
The horse of the lily-of-the-valley's chaste bell.
The horse of the prickly thin storm about to be,
of the cool cottons of the hotel bed
and his beautiful body, golden, lean,
and the horse of having been so close,
and then changing his mind.
The horse of her will like a planet, irrefutable,
distantly tethered to the bestial earth, and Paris
splayed and blazing around them, as if illustrated.
About this poem
"If we studied the lives of the poets closely, could we begin to see American poetry coming into being? In my book 'On this Day in Poetry History,' forthcoming from Persea Books in 2015, I imagine the history of American poetry as a kind of Google Map or kinetic diorama, the poets moving toward or away from epiphanies, navigating among odd, compelling moments and unexpected correspondences. In this case, it's March 29, 1956, and Plath is in Paris with a balloon."
About Amy Newman
Amy Newman is the author of "Dear Editor" (Persea Books, 2011). She teaches at Northern Illinois University and lives in DeKalb, Ill.
The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]poets.org.
(c) 2014 Amy Newman. Originally published by the Academy of American Poets, www.poets.org. Distributed by King Features Syndicate