Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Blade of Grass

A Blade of Grass by Brian Patten

You ask for a poem.
I offer you a blade of grass.
You say it is not good enough.
You ask for a poem.

I say this blade of grass will do.
It has dressed itself in frost,
It is more immediate
Than any image of my making.

You say it is not a poem,
It is a blade of grass and grass
Is not quite good enough.
I offer you a blade of grass.

You are indignant.
You say it is too easy to offer grass.
It is absurd.
Anyone can offer a blade of grass.

You ask for a poem.
And so I write you a tragedy about
How a blade of grass
Becomes more and more difficult to offer,

And about how as you grow older
A blade of grass
Becomes more difficult to accept.


I found that poem through Dr. Coleman and at first I didn't understand it. Well poems are unique in the sense that we all take different meanings from them, but initially I had dismissed this without reading it. And then I read it. I read it twice or three times and I understood what was there for me to understand. My problem with poems is that I could you tell you what I think of them, but I can't write it. Well not properly so I won't bother.

Anyway, I think that poem is simply brilliant, for it echoes some of my thoughts last night which went unpublished. Sigh. Yes, this poem is about growing up to me and the changes that are expected of people once they age. Note the word expected--that dastardly word, which haunts me at times. I don't think you can blame some people for asking for a poem, for the sad reality is that they have been told that there is no alternative: there is no place for people to offer a blade of grass.

1 comment:

Beans said...

I will comment further on this poem someday, but not today.

I think though, the word should not be "expected" but "demanded".