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363rd Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 363rd Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from John Koethe:

Sally’s Hair

It’s like living in a light bulb, with the leaves
Like filaments and the sky a shell of thin, transparent glass
Enclosing the late heaven of a summer day, a canopy
Of incandescent blue above the dappled sunlight golden on the grass.

I took the train back from Poughkeepsie to New York
And in the Port Authority, there at the Suburban Transit window,
She asked, “Is this the bus to Princeton?”–which it was.
“Do you know Geoffrey Love?” I said I did. She had the blondest hair,

Which fell across her shoulders, and a dress of almost phosphorescent
blue.
She liked Ayn Rand. We went down to the Village for a drink,
Where I contrived to miss the last bus to New Jersey, and at 3 a.m. we
Walked around and found a cheap hotel I hadn’t enough money for

And fooled around on its dilapidated couch. An early morning bus
(She’d come to see her brother), dinner plans and missed connections
And a message on his door about the Jersey shore. Next day
A summer dormitory room, my roommates gone: “Are you,” she asked,

“A hedonist?” I guessed so. Then she had to catch her plane.
Sally-Sally Roche. She called that night from Florida,
And then I never heard from her again. I wonder where she is now,
Who she is now. That was thirty-seven years ago

And I’m too old to be surprised again. The days are open,
Life conceals no depths, no mysteries, the sky is everywhere,
The leaves are all ablaze with light, the blond light
Of a summer afternoon that made me think again of Sally’s hair.

What do you think?

  • Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)

    It’s sad that the narrator thinks life has no mysteries now.

  • Suko http://www.sukosnotebook

    Times goes by too quickly–too sad.

  • Topazshell

    I really like this poem. I have two or three silly comments. First of all, I don’t know what “hedonist” means. I’ll have to look it up.
    “I wonder where she is now,/Who she is now” reminds me of the lines or sentences in Terry Mcmillan’s novel, “I Almost Forgot About You.” The sentences in her book really shook me up.
    The last lines don’t make me long for “old age.” Is it that way? Is it different for each person? The lines don’t leave much hope.
    “Life conceals…no mysteries.”

    • This seems like someone who regrets the past and now finds that there is little time to change it. I agree, it doesn’t make old age sound appealing.