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Korean Mums Analysis

Author: poem of James Schuyler Type: poem Views: 8

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beside me in this garden

are huge and daisy-like

(why not? are not

oxeye daisies a chrysanthemum?),

shrubby and thick-stalked,

the leaves pointing up

the stems from which

the flowers burst in

sunbursts. I love

this garden in all its moods,

even under its winter coat

of salt hay, or now,

in October, more than

half gone over: here

a rose, there a clump

of aconite. This morning

one of the dogs killed

a barn owl. Bob saw

it happen, tried to

intervene. The airedale

snapped its neck and left

it lying. Now the bird

lies buried by an apple

tree. Last evening

from the table we saw

the owl, huge in the dusk,

circling the field

on owl-silent wings.

The first one ever seen

here: now it's gone,

a dream you just remember.

The dogs are barking. In

the studio music plays

and Bob and Darragh paint.

I sit scribbling in a little

notebook at a garden table,

too hot in a heavy shirt

in the mid-October sun

into which the Korean mums

all face. There is a

dull book with me,

an apple core, cigarettes,

an ashtray. Behind me

the rue I gave Bob

flourishes. Light on leaves,

so much to see, and

all I really see is that

owl, its bulk troubling

the twilight. I'll

soon forget it: what

is there I have not forgot?

Or one day will forget:

this garden, the breeze

in stillness, even

the words, Korean mums.

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