just beautiful

Apr 22, 2021 poetry appreciation

Sometimes there’s a clear, specific reason why I want to share a poem, usually to do with whichever bees are currently buzzing round my bonnet. This one, though, I wanted to share simply because I find it beautiful and accurate. Here is Cynthia Zarin’s ‘Flowers‘.

The way the poem travels to those final two, exquisite lines is itself so exquisitely simple, yet effective. The language is relaxed, fluid, conversational, and the several long sentences which lapse over line-ends and stanza breaks enact what the last sentence describes, the ‘not know[ing] how to hold’. It is as though language fails in the face of the depth and breadth of experience of quite how much ‘beauty and sorrow’ there are to feel, to encounter in others. It’s about the experience of wonder, of being silenced by the very nature of experience, of being alive; and how this can find us in everyday things, not just in large experiences or Bucket List moments. I think she catches it so well. I want to be able to ring Zarin up and just say: “Hey, Cynth, y’know your poem ‘Flowers’? Well… : yes”.

Hope it speaks to you too.

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