January 20, 2007

She has very large tractors.

From Robert Bly's book, Morning Poems:

The Yellow Dot

God does what she wants. She has very large
Tractors. She lives at night in the sewing room
Doing stitchery. Then chunks of land at mid-
Sea disappear. The husband knows that his wife
Is still breathing. God has arranged the open
Grave. The grave is not what we want,
But to God it's a tiny hole, and he has
The needle, draws thread through it, and soon
A nice pattern appears. The husband cries,
"Don't let her die!" But God says, "I
Need a yellow dot here, near the mailbox."

The husband is angry. But the turbulent ocean
Is like a chicken scratching for seeds. It doesn't
Mean anything, and the chicken's claws will tear
A Rembrandt drawing if you put it down.

--in memory of Jane Kenyon--

...okay, folks. Time to start writing again.


Sam of the ten thousand things said...

Bly has such a wonderful sense of human presence in his work. What an ending-- Thanks for posting this.

Penultimatina said...

I just recently realized how much I like Robert Bly. Thanks for posting this poem!

P.S. I absolutely love your poem "The Fish." It is currently living in my briefcase and I just can't take it out of there.

Valerie Loveland said...

I haven't read this one. Thanks for posting it

Sandra said...

I'm glad you all like this one--it was literally one of those poems that made me buy a book off the shelf.

Mary, I'm thrilled The Fish found a home with the Rhino. Now that's a match made in some strange version of Eden...

rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Bly is uniquely broad in his talents (IMHO).

It's a sweet flavor - that moment when one poem hits you hard enough to get you to buy the book off the shelf. Happened to me recently
with Ted Kooser and Birthday (which I posted about 5 posts back.)

Thanks for the comment about honor and your broadened readership.

Shade Resource Shade Sails said...

It's been seven years since I first read this poem, it's always been a favorite. Funny, it wasn't until a day or so ago that I understood what the last line means: "...the chicken's claws will tear
A Rembrandt drawing if you put it down." Bly seems to be saying that no matter how precious anything is, even a loved one, in the end the nature of Nature is to destroy it.