I'm over at The Paris Review (Big up Lorin Stein) talking poetry. Specifically I'm talking Jennifer Grotz's incredible poem, "Poppies." Here's a taste:
The poppies are wild, they are only beautiful and tallso long as you do not cut them,they are like the feral cat who purrs and rubs against your legbut will scratch you if you touch back.Love is letting the world be half-tamed.That's how the rain comes, softly and attentively, thenwith unstoppable force. If youstare upwards as it falls, you will seethey are falling sparks that light nothing only becausethe ground interrupts them. You can hear the way they'd burn,the smoldering sound they make falling into the grass.
Poppies was originally published by the effete, latte sipping, wine-track, coastal elite, pinko, Prius-driving libruls at the The New England Review. OK, so I added some superlatives.
Moving on, yesterday, on twitter, someone hipped to the association between poppies, World War I and death. Here's John McCrae's "In Flanders Fields" which (like a lot of things) I'd never had the pleasure of reading:
In Flanders fields, the poppies blowBetween the crosses, row on row,That mark our place and in the skyThe larks, still bravely singing, flyScarce heard amid the guns below.We are the dead, short days ago,We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,Loved, and were loved, and now we lieIn Flanders fields!Take up our quarrel with the foe:To you from failing hands, we throwThe torch; be yours to hold it high.If ye break faith with us who dieWe shall not sleep, though poppies growIn Flanders fields!