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A Jealousy I'm Proud to Own

Your poetry is dark, Mark Strand.
I want to emulate it as I hate
each line.  I want to cast it out,
then hold it to my breast
as the defeated one who knows
I could have said it first
had I retreated into selfhood,
placing honesty in all effrontery
and drawing forth the man
who dips into the soul
and finds his art.

I didn't do it.
The gold I see encrusted there
forever lies in your domain.
Every plain-scribed thought remains
your own no matter myriad the times
I have encountered it before,
for words fall on their knees
when spirit rules and art
is not contrived but flows forth
from its source.

I read these washer-woman words
with more than admiration, Mark.
I fondle them, enshrine their pages
with repeated reads, and you
will understand I fondly hate them
as they trace the highways
that a poet laureate selects,
the curves and scenic stops
along the way that I
shall never see or share.

Copyright © Robert Ludden | Year Posted 2016


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