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246th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 246th 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.

Also, sign up for the 2014 Dive Into Poetry Reading Challenge because there are several levels of participation for your comfort level.

For more poetry, check out the stops on the 2013 National Poetry Month Blog Tour and the 2012 National Poetry Month Blog Tour.

Signup for the 2014 National Poetry Month Blog Tour: Reach for the Horizon

Today’s poem is from Michael Schmidt’s New and Collected Poems:

Wasps' Nest

It was the fruit I wanted, not the nest.
The nest was hanging like the richest fruit
against the sun. I took the nest

and with it came the heart, and in my hand
the kingdom and the queen, frail surfaces,
rested for a moment. Then the drones

awoke and did their painful business.
I let the city drop upon the stones.
It split to its deep palaces and combs.

It bled the insect gold,
the pupa queens like tiny eyes
wriggled from their sockets, and somewhere

the monarch cowered in a veil of wings
in passages through which at evening
the labourers had homed,

burdened with silence and the garden scents.
The secret heart was broken suddenly.
I, to whom the knowledge had been given,

who was not after knowledge but a fruit,
remember how a knot of pains
swelled my hand to a round nest;

blood throbbed in the hurt veins
as if an unseen swarm mined there.
The nest oozed bitter honey.

I swaddled my fat hand in cotton.
After a week pain gave it back to me
scarred and weakened like a shrivelled skin.

A second fruit is growing on the tree.
Identical—the droning in the leaves.
It ripens. I have another hand.

What do you think?

  • Such a simple thing, grabbing and dropping a nest, and yet the poet makes it sound like a thing of beauty, rather than something painful. Loved the imagery and the descriptions in this one.
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