Friday, August 21, 2009

Sharp words, sharp images

I felt terrible after selling my copy of Perrine's Sound and Sense: An Introduction to Poetry by to a rising senior who would be taking AP English Literature & Composition soon. I fell in love with poetry through this book and it was only senior year that I began collecting my favorite poems.

So, I would like to share two of my favorite poems with you:
Snow White and the Seven Deadly Sins
By R.S. Gwynn

Good Catholic girl, she didn't mind the cleaning.
All of her household chores, at first, were small
And hardly labors one could find demeaning.
One's duty was one's refuge, after all.

And if she had her doubts at certain moments
And once confessed the to the Father, she
Was instantly referred to texts in Romans
And Peter's First Epistle, chapter III.

Years passed. More sinful every day, the Seven
Breakfasted, grabbed their pitchforks, donned their horns,
And sped to contravene the hopes of heaven,
Sowing the neighbors' lawns with tares and thorns.

She set to work. Pride's wall of looking glasses
Ogled her dimly, smeared with prints of lips;
Lust's magazines lay strewn, bare tits and asses
Weighted by his "devices" - chains, cuffs, whips.

Gluttony's empties covered half the table,
Mingling with Avarice's cards and chips,
And she'd been told to sew a Bill Blass label
Inside the blazer Envy'd bought at Gyps.

She knelt to the cold master bathroom floor as
If a petitioner before the Pope,
Retrieving several pairs of Sloths's soiled drawers,
A sweat-sock and a cake of hairy soap.

Then, as she wiped the Windex from the mirror
She noticed, and the vision made her cry,
How much she'd grayed and paled, and how much clearer
Festered the bruise of Wrath beneath her eye.

"No poisoned apple needed for this Princess,"
She murmured making X's with her thumb.
A car door slammed, bringing her to her senses:
Ho-hum. Ho-hum. It's home from work we come.

And she was out the window in a second,
In time to see a Handsome Prince, of course,
Who, in spying her distressed condition, beckoned
For her to mount (What else?) his snow-white horse.

Impeccably he spoke. His smile was glowing.
So debonair! So charming! And so Male.
She took a step, reversed and without slowing
Beat it to St. Anne's where she took the veil.

Suicide's Note
By Langston Hughes

The calm,
Cool face of the river
Asked me for a kiss.
What are your favorite poems?

ex.oh.ex.oh
Miss Couturable
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