Resistance: Spring’s like-ness

Gymea Lily_(Illustrationes_Florae_Novae_Hollandiae_plate_13) (1)

‘The poem must resist…’ Wallace Stevens

— the wisteria vine over an old fence like a weight-lifter’s bicep
— young mulberries ready to swell and blacken like a punch in the eye
— beaches as clean as a young girl’s calf
— cylindrical waves as empty as a cupboard
— 4 cranes on a building site turned like harps
— noise like a fist to the nose
— diesel fumes thick as frying onions
— a frangipani blossom like an egg custard
— a gymea lily like a penis on the first night: red, unruly and swollen with intent
— clover flowers like tea-cozies
— clouds building up like hypoglycaemia
— 99 days to Christmas and it’s already 30 degrees.

Image:  Doryanthes excelsa (Gymea lily) by Ferdinand Bauer (1760–1826) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Brendan at Toads asks us to write on resistance; resist our normal poetic voice, ‘struggle with it, go down with it, come back with what saves you’.  Also posted on dverse – open link night #228. Wallace Stevens’ complete poem Man Carrying Thing is here. A gymea lily is a flowering plant endemic to coastal areas near Sydney. It has sword-like leaves more than 1 metre (3 ft) long and it grows a flower spike up to 6 metres (20 ft) high. The apex of the spike bears a large cluster of bright red flowers, each 10 centimetres (4 in) across.

25 thoughts on “Resistance: Spring’s like-ness

  1. Yes, a wildly fragrant contribution to the challenge, thank you … The list is florid with what comes after resistance, or as Stevens writes elsewhere in his poem, finding “uncertain particles / Of the certain solid …” Hanging around long enough in observation to find the second room beyond the obvious: what more densely humid fragrances are found there! Loved it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lots of lovely stuff here Peter – my fave: “beaches as clean as a young girl’s calf…”which s fantastic – but pretty much every line here is fresh, punchy and sings well. I will certainly be back to see what else you come up with next…


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