Mini Anthology of Free Verse Poems


Monet's poplars slide through the bright surfaces of water their slender wands; they rise through sky the color of the water, opaque, substantial >

enough to hold the V-curve of leaf canopy that suggests perspective, flattened into painting after painting, blurred to background or focussed, distinct, as though by telephoto eye so mesmerized by sun the shape has burned into the lens and left a scar overlaid by a rhythmic imaging of light that hunts the soul of the scar by reflection, the way the water reflects the sky, the way the eye hardly notices the blue-green smudges of bank where the image reverses, sending the long stems like roots into the viscous gelatin of retina; it requires an edge, the edge a frame, that we may see inside the curving billow of leaves the classic form, like a chevron of geese going south or north with the alterations of light, that has flown into the very window of the eye, broken it a little in tiny cracks, so that the gaze prefigures the repetitions, like a memory of home, a mirror.

— Lucia Cordell Getsi

NIGHT PLEASURES (Poquoson, Virginia)

Where I come from land lies flat as paper.

Pine, spruce, holly like dark words left from a woods. Creeks coil, curve, enigmatic as women. To know the depths you must dream. In the mountains for college I walked up and could see barns, cows, housesmoke, but no boats. Hillsides of winesaps, still, perfect.

Here my little boat takes the night Bay. One far neon light tosses, a city people walk alone, its rhythmic landscape cut from marshes and cries. On black water it is all mine, first beginnings, endings, love's beauties. So when I move, it moves under me, and knows me.

If you have it you don't think about it so acquiring it is the means of forgetting it because if you don't have it you'll think about it and you're embittered thinking about it because to think about it is to acknowledge yourself incomplete without it because you know you are better than that, surely you are better than the many who have it thus need not think about it the way, after Death, you won't think about Death either.

—Joyce Carol Oates

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