Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ode to Spring

- Frederick Seidel

I can only find words for.
And sometimes I can't.
Here are these flowers that stand for.
I stand here on the sidewalk.

I can't stand it, but yes of course I understand it.
Everything has to have meaning.
Things have to stand for something.
I can't take the time. Even skin-deep is too deep.

I say to the flower stand man:
Beautiful flowers at your flower stand, man.
I'll take a dozen of the lilies.
I'm standing as it were on my knees

Before a little man up on a raised
Runway altar where his flowers are arrayed
Along the outside of the shop.
I take my flames and pay inside.

I go off and have sexual intercourse.
The woman is the woman I love.
The room displays thirteen lilies.
I stand on the surface.

from: Poems 1959-2009. Copyright 2009.


  1. I was surprised that I immediately thought, 'this is written by a man! I don't always think of the author's gender when I read poem. ;O)

    1. Now that you mention it ... yes. I feel it too.

      The words that struck me are, "Even skin-deep is too deep," and I can't help but contrast the speaker's separation from nature with Thoreau's connection to it. I get a strong feeling of social commentary here. Like how we're too busy and distracted to really connect to the world around us.