when first I read your poem I could immediately hear in my eye and see in my ear, they are so intimately connected, that this is a lyric narrative (a narratio vera), that is poetry and a poem as a musical composition. I noted immediately that ‘memory paints the scene / appearing before her’ is making the far come more near. And because poetry always needs a space-and-a-place to make things happen, you immediately locate us exactly where we are at the very moment of hearing and seeing in the house of language: we are discovering how Nature the great creatrix is in action in the world of flowers. And it is your vision, inner-and-outer, your experience that is so heartfelt in itself.
When I see how each word each image is seeking a relationship with other words and images, I know that you know your stuff. For example: I know that you know that the last word in a line and the first word in the following line are key moments in the best poetry. And how they begin to establish a rhythmic pattern and alert the reader to how language is, your language is beginning the journey to the heart of the matter. How
wheeling birds locate us exactly and there is no holding particulars that rush against the light against spectral decoupage…
And then at the very beginning you, it seems so natural, introduce this intra-linear text that is at the same time tells the story in such an animated and meticulously detailed way: by naming the/your flowers as a poet-painter does:
scarlet flowers and leaves with silvery undersides at right a sprig of mānuka covered in small white flowers white blossoms among red and two trees on sloping ground And then voila, I suddenly hear and see what for me is at the heart of this your poem’s experience: where two people make love the condition of their continuing existence This is brilliant stuff, Michelle, because it reads and sounds the-way-that-it-is in your inner and outer world. I know that you know that to tell love one must write. And you have done so in this quite brilliant and inspiring poem. Very, very nice, thanks for agreeing to let me read it. Oh, a note on your use of number, without which we would have a world of chaos. Do keep making words sound their music, and letting them seek relationship with each other.
All best, Michele. Michael