January 15th, 2011

poetry

Poet's Corner: The Dragonfly

The Dragonfly

You are made of almost nothing
But of enough
To be great eyes
And diaphanous double vans;
To be ceaseless movement,
Unending hunger
Grappling love.

Link between water and air,
Earth repels you.
Light touches you only to shift into iridescence
Upon your body and wings.

Twice-born, predator,
You split into the heat.
Swift beyond calculation or capture
You dart into the shadow
Which consumes you.

You rocket into the day.
But at last, when the wind flattens the grasses,
For you, the design and purpose stop.

And you fall
With the other husks of summer.

Louise Bogan (1897–1970)

I cam e across this in a volume of poetry called Till I End My Song, an anthology of last poems edited by Harold Bloom. I am not 100% convinced that every poem therein is in fact a last poem--indeed, the introductory essay for this one says it is "one of her last poems"--but semantic quibbles notwithstanding, it's a pretty good collection.

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