Today's poems are by Muriel Rukeyser

Trout Fishing

Well I'm back again
To this song—
Back again, standing over
My old fishing-place.
And I'm not one who's good at going back,
A hook waiting for trout.
Upstream and up the stream.
There aren't any trout around here
Unless you wait.
I keep saying There aren't many trout this year.
There are those I eat and those I don't wait for
Because I give up so soon.
Upstream and up the stream;
Well, and it's glorious
On snowy ice-surfaces
Walking and walking.
I can't even go errands—
I, a falling-down old man.
Everything else is fine. . . .
I cannot even make my difficult song,
For easy birdsong is not given to me,
Even though I turn to it again,
And I'm not one who's good at going back.

O difficult things!          And I want everything.


The Iris-Eaters

for John Cage

It was like everything else, like everything—
nothing at all like what they say it is.
The petals of iris were slightly cinnamon,
a smooth beard in the mouth
transforming to strong drink,
light violet turning purple in the throat
and flashed and went deep red
burning and burning.
Well, no, more an extreme warmth,
but we thought of burning,
we thought of poisons,
we thought of the closing of the throat
forever, of dying, of the end of song.
We were doing it, you understand,
for the first time.
You were the only one of us who knew
and you saved us, John,
with music, with a

Copyright © 2005 Muriel Rukeyser All rights reserved
from The Collected Poems Of Muriel RukeyserThe Collected Poems Of Muriel Rukeyser edited by Janet Kaufman & Anne F. Herzog
University of Pittsburgh Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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