And where there is rain

This is what I love about his poems, that they are like photographs. Or small in-between moments from a beautiful movie. An aching clarity.

Always a Rose: 6

Not for the golden pears, rotten on the ground —
their sweetness their secret — not for the scent
of their dying did I go back to my father's house. Not for the grass
grown wild as his beard in his last few months,
nor for the hard, little apples that littered the yard,
and vines, rampant on the porch, tying the door shut,
did I stand there, late, rain arriving.
The rain came. And where there is rain,
there is time, and memory, and sometimes sweetness.
Where there is a son, there is a father.
And if there is love there is
no forgetting, but regret rending
two shaggy hearts.
I said good-bye to the forsythia, flowerless for years.
I turned from the hive-laden pine.
Then, I saw it — you, actually.
Past the choked rhododendrons,
behind the perishing gladiolas, there
in the far corner of the yard, you, my rose,
lovely for nothing, lonely for no one,
stunning the afternoon
with your single flower ablaze.
I left that place, I let the rain
meditate on the brilliance of one blossom
quivering in the beginning of downpour.

– Li-Young Lee
from  Rose


odessa 11/12/2011 12:57 PM  

sigh. so beautiful. i remembered reading this at a bookstore before and getting choked with emotions. the ending..the ending, is brilliant.

also, have you read "the city in which i loved you"? i think i want to memorize that poem.

Holly 11/12/2011 10:49 PM  

odessa - I think I have, but I need to reread it.

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