Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Photos by S. Auberle

Last week, while visiting Provincetown, Massachusetts, I stood behind the iron gate in front of the late poet Stanley Kunitz's house, hoping that some leftover poetry vibes were still floating about. From my recent poetry attempts it appears they were not, however, just to see the garden he tended so lovingly, till he was over 100 years of age was pure grace. The flowers were magnificent, a bit untended, but perhaps all the more beautiful for their wildness. If you've not read The Wild Braid, you must--if you care anything about poetry, gardens, life, death or passion. It's simply a series of conversations about personal recollections, the creative process, and the harmony of the life cycle between this master poet and the woman who interviewed him on daily walks through the garden.
The title of the book is taken from this poem about snakes in his garden:
"In the deceptive balm
of noon, as if defiant of the curse
that spoiled another garden,
these two appear on show
through a narrow slit in the dense green brocade
of a north-country spruce,
dangling head-down, entwined
in a brazen love knot.
I put out my hand and stroke
the fine, dry grit of their skins.
After all,
we are partners in this land,
co-signers of a covenant.
At my touch the wild
braid of creation
Along with the profligate display of flowers there is a tile imbedded in the wall just behind the gate. I'm sure this was not pure chance that the tile depicts a snake--perhaps the serpent in his garden of Eden, whom he did not abhor, but embraced. A touch of his dry wit, or a deep and needed lesson on the sacredness and harmony of all creation?
"What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life."
- "Touch Me"
Stanley Kunitz


Blogger _Soulless_ said...

The poem about snakes IS such a treat. ^_^ Thanks for sharing Kunitz's work; I'll be on the lookout for his name for now on (yay).


4:40 AM  

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