NPM09: "To Dorothy" by Marvin Bell

Writers on Writing is a favorite podcast of mine in which Barbara DeMarco-Barrett interviews authors, poets, and literary agents on the art and business of writing. Last night I listened to her interview of the American poet Marvin Bell. I really enjoyed it, especially his reading of "To Dorothy," a poem about his wife. Today, as I think about it, it's also a poem about my wife. I love you, sootie.

To Dorothy

You are not beautiful, exactly.
You are beautiful, inexactly.
You let a weed grow by the mulberry
And a mulberry grow by the house.
So close, in the personal quiet
Of a windy night, it brushes the wall
And sweeps away the day till we sleep.

A child said it, and it seemed true:
"Things that are lost are all equal."
But it isn't true. If I lost you,
The air wouldn't move, nor the tree grow.
Someone would pull the weed, my flower.
The quiet wouldn't be yours. If I lost you,
I'd have to ask the grass to let me sleep.

Here's a video of Marvin Bell talking about poetry. It's short...