A Living Poem
a Tribute to Stanley Kunitz
The height of the beauty of a bloom
is in its folded state…
…the roiling possibility
enclosed within the secret vault of self.
I like a garden that dances…
…variegated, like life,
the shadows and the play of light.
I’ve walked into the separate
wilderness of age…
…and there discovered
the wealth of moldering dreams—
the hopes, the losses,
fears unfounded, dispelled illusions.
My garden, my life, my poems—
a planned disorder…
…and I hold only truth
within these hands,
the loamy soil to which I shall return.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.
This poem is a reflection on the long, long life of poet Stanley Kunitz. I gleaned the lines in italics from the book “The Wild Braid, a Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden.”
Over at dVerse Poets’ Pub we are celebrating our 3rd Anniversary. Today we are asked to write a tribute or ode to a poet who has influenced our writing, our living.
Written when the poet was in his 100’s between 2002-2004, the now deceased Kunitz sat down with Genine Lentine in his vast Connecticut garden to share how his love of gardening and poetry intersected and influenced one another. I strongly recommend this beautiful book of poetry, photography, conversation and reflection to all poets, especially those who share a love of nature and gardening. He is someone I wish I could have met.