I am temporarily parking archived blog posts here while I redesign my site and change servers. For current content, please visit blog.shannacompton.com.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

A Cart with Apples

by Christopher Middleton, from Selected Writings: A Reader

In the blue shadow

alone with its rose

and full of fields

round ones and yellow ones

an apple stands

a blue apple stands

in the field of yellow

alone with its cart

and round of roses

full ones and shadow ones

and full of yellow

the shadow stands

alone with an apple

a rose one a round one

in a blue field

and in the apple shadows

blue ones and yellow ones

a cart stands

alone with its field

and full of rounds

but in the field of roses

and full of apples

yellow ones and round ones

a blue cart stands

alone with its shadow

I discovered Middleton at the University of Texas, where he taught (still teaches?) in the German department for many years. In fact, he administered my oral final interview one semester (which were done by impartial professors), but in his half-lit office and under the pressure of a test of my basic communication skills, I couldn't bring myself to mention that I'd been reading his poems. The Co-Op always stocked his books and I'd picked up every one I could find. I've read this poem so many times I practically have it memorized, and probably would have it if it didn't all turn on shifts of word order. It's relatively simple, and less surprising and less humorous perhaps than many of his poems, but I love the way it all hangs on that "but," don't you?

No comments:

Post a Comment

I reserve the right to delete unwanted comments or ban users by IP address as necessary. Please don't make it necessary.