Poetry November 2005

Loosestrife

audioear pictureHear the author read this poem (in RealAudio)

You have become your name, loosestrife,
        carried on sheep, spurting up out of ballast,
a cure brought across the deep
        to treat wounds, soothe trouble.
There have been others like you, the rhododendron,
        the cattails that you in your turn overrun.
Voices praise your magenta spread, your ability
        to propagate by seed, by stem, by root,
and how you adjust to light, to soil, spreading
        your glory across the earth even as you kill
by boat, by air, by land, all before you: the hardy iris,
        the rare orchids, the spawning ground of fish.
You'll overtake the earth and destroy even yourself.
        Ah, our loosestrife, purple plague, beautiful us.

Presented by

Greg Delanty's most recent collections are The Ship of Birth and The Blind Stitch. His Collected Poems 1986-2006 will be published next year.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In