Friday, January 02, 2009

Friday Poetry: Kenneth Koch

Happy New Year! In a week I'm going on hiatus when I go to Ghana, though I'll try to get a few notes in in the meantime. But here's a poem I like!

Kenneth Koch

One day the Nouns were clustered in the street.
An Adjective walked by, with her dark beauty.
The Nouns were struck, moved, changed.
The next day a Verb drove up and created the Sentence.

Each Sentence says one thing—for example, "Although it was a dark rainy day when the Adjective walked by, I shall remember the pure and sweet expression on her face until the day I perish from the green, effective earth."
Or, "Will you please close the window, Andrew?"
Or, for example, "Thank you, the pink pot of flowers on the windowsill has changed color recently to a light yellow due to the heat from the boiler factory which exists nearby."

In the sprintime the Sentences and the Nouns lay quietly on the grass.
A lonely Conjunction here and there would call, "And! But!"
But the Adjective did not emerge.

As the Adjective is lost in the sentence,
So I am lost in your eyes, ears, nose and throat—
You have enchanted me with a single kiss
Which can never be undone
Until the destruction of language.


At 1:47 PM, Blogger Lonin said...

gemma, this poem is great -- i'd definitely be thinking of reading it tomorrow at the poetry circle except that'd be real silly of course since you'd actually be there but maybe even in the future -- the randomness of the poem's style is so catching ("the green, effective earth") for some strange reason that i can't really figure out, and of course the last three lines are just wonderful all on their own (maybe we can make some sort of haiku out of them in Chinese?). based on koch's "wolf poem" i was thinking of him as someone who navigates with the complexity of the reality of the world (that is, of course, rules and regulations especially) and osmoses that for requisite complexity for his actual poems, but this one really has its own color scheme, somehow a dimension from all the irregularities, somehow "i am lost in your eyes, ears, nose and throat" is both sensual and pedantic. see you tomorrow. ~~lawrence::

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Ammegg said...

You should totally read it! Just 'cause I've heard it doesn't mean everybody else has, and I'd like to hear how you read it.


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