The latest of my new favorite poets and my 7th National Poetry Month post is Ron Koertge, from the very near-by city of Pasadena, California. The below work (from American Life in Poetry: Column 419) tells a beautiful story that has images that are vivid and so strong:
“Burning the Book”
The anthology of love poems I bought
for a quarter is brittle, anyway, and comes
apart when I read it.
One at a time, I throw pages on the fire
and watch smoke make its way up
I’m almost to the index when I hear
a murmuring in the street. My neighbors
are watching it snow.
I put on my blue jacket and join them.
The children stand with their mouths
I can see nouns—longing, rapture, bliss—
land on every tongue, then disappear.
The last lines are my favorites because they take the nouns from the book of love poems and turn them into things that have weight and existence:
“I can see nouns—longing, rapture, bliss—
land on every tongue, then disappear.”
The full article can be found here.