Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WHY?, by KAREN SWENSON

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

WHY?, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Why? Friends ask. Why there? Why not
Last Line: Around the why? The shrug of friends.
Subject(s): Travel; Journeys; Trips

Why? friends ask. Why there? Why not
a deck chair and a vodka tonic
by a Caribbean pool or tours
of Roman palaces in flat shoes?
I want the edge, I say, of white foam
lace on black sand, of curling temple
eaves. A blade I turn inward to
incise through sedimentary strata
of cultural shibboleths, stacked like
T-shirts in tidy categories
of size and color. I excise
an infant never born in my
own country. Caroler of words
kept mute inside my culture's mouth -
omniscient, hallow, awe - she knows
they're synonyms for rain, cicada,
rice, star, tree, the numberless
of the numinous. She
incants arpeggios of joy
around the Why? the shrug of friends.

Discover our Poem Explanations and Poet Analyses!

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net