Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thursday Verse: "Her Management" - May Swenson


She does not place, relate, or name
the objects of her hall,
nor bother to repair her ceiling,
sweep her floor, or paint a wall
symmetrical with mountains. 
Cylindrical, her tent
is pitched of ocean on one side
and – rakish accident –
forest on the other,
granular, her rug 
of many marbles, or of roots,
or needles, or a bog –
outrageous in its pattern.
The furniture is pine
and oak and birch and beech and elm; 
the water couch is fine.
Mottled clouds, and lighting rifts,
leaking stars and whole
gushing moons despoil her roof.
Contemptuous of control, 
she lets a furnace burn all day,
she lets the winds be wild.
Broken, rotting, shambled things
lie where they like, are piled
on the same tables with her sweets, 
her fruits, and scented stuffs.
Her management is beauty.
Of careless silks and roughs,
rumpled rocks, the straightest rain,
blizzards, roses, crows, 
April lambs and graveyards,
she chances to compose
a rich and sloven manor.
Her prosperous tapestries
are too effusive in design 
for our analyses –
we, who through her textures move,
we specks upon her glass,
who try to place, relate, and name
all things within her mass.

- May Swenson                                                                                  


  1. First like.

    Is this in that book? It's a good one. I haven't read it before. I'm glad The Covey subscribes to Mother Nature's mannerisms. So earthy. There I go trying to place, relate and name again.

    1. It is! I made it through the whole thing. So glad you lent it to me. There are whole sections of poems on space and the moon too, which was fitting for this week.