Today's poem is by Kurt Brown

The Hierophant Of Hartford


Never has a noble vocabulary been loved so much:

Bronze, first, and then procession in all its forms,
As in: "The bronze processional of the oaks..."

Genius, linked with many nouns, as though the world
Were sentient, a student of experience and time.

Then, summer, always, that genial season
With its carnivorous clouds and inestimable flowers.

He loved the sun's fiery accompaniment and pagan light:
the sea gnashing its immense and aqueous teeth.

And he loved to say words more than once,
As in "The sun's bronze genius above the summer sea."


A world needs trees to jungle it, and storied beasts.

The mind's occult menagerie was his:
A polychrome of swans and peacocks, owls and doves.

Golden-eyed macaws made music in the boughs
While cinnamon trees sweetened evening's purple fall.

All this tangled in the mind's vast hinterland
As summer's genius greened the season's blue pavilion.

And in that Paradise of Adams. Badroulbadour appeared,
Gaunt Fernando, silly Crispin and sad Ramon,

Silent interlocutors whose sisters sang as well
Faceless as the sea-bronzed sand where the mind stirred.


The objective world and the mind are separate, but one.

On points of paradox his poems danced.
Such was his conundrum to puzzle in exact verses.

Master of the pure word, sesquipedalia of the sentence,
Palm and hemlock were the efflorescence of his thought.

Feral sea and river his watery arnanuenses,
Or he was theirs. Order was an idea posed in equipoise.

Yet the world is empty of our spirit, as we of its,
If spirit it has, known only of Imagination's avatar.

No prayer but the snowman's numb avowels.
No gods but satyrs Under the sun's broad bacchanal.


He was the singer of the intellect's baroque enchantments.

On ordinary evenings he might pause to scry the heavens
Or the solemn houses of Connecticut,

The clapboard sameness of bourgeois habitations
In which inmates, gowned like ghosts, serenely roamed.

Ciscisbeo of Hartford's plain allurements,
A fictive music played across the movement of his lines,

Orchestrations of the greater Vocalissimus
That trembled solely on the spirit with a soundless sound.

O prodigal, soloist of the mind's Reality, the scrawny cry—
The poem's elemental it, whatever it its it is.

Copyright © 2008 Kurt Brown All rights reserved
from Redivider
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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