Poetry November 2005

Loosestrife

More

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.

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.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Greg Delanty is an Irish poet who teaches at Saint Michael's College in Vermont. His latest book of poems is The Greek Anthology, Book XVII, which will be released in the U.S. in 2015 as Book Seventeen

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

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

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In