Sunlight buttered on the grass.

In a poem where the speaker repeatedly mentions an inability to remember the names of things, there comes this splendid evocation of roses that turns for all its colour and specificity upon the mention of names.

Do the roses bloom? I hope so: how I love roses!
        Bunches of roses on
The dining table, Georg Arends, big and silver-
        pink with sharply
Bent-back petals so the petals make a point: no
        other rose does that:
or Variegata di Bologna, streaked and freaked
        in raspberries and cream,

The feast is limited to two types of roses but seems in its precision to invoke a whole gamut of hybrids. And later in The Morning of the Poem by James Schuyler one finds a similar abundance conveyed by a repetition with variation: “Sunlight buttered on the grass” will some lines later be reprised “Light freshly buttered on the grass.” Same effect. Different wording. Once would be showing off. Twice is the mark of a master.

And so for day 1524
14.02.2011

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