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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Number 204: Amy Lowell "Fireworks"


You hate me and I hate you
And we are so polite, we two!

But whenever I see you, I burst apart
And scatter the sky with my blazing heart.
It spits and sparkles in stars and balls,
Buds into roses – and flares, and falls.

Scarlet buttons, and pale green disks,
Silver spirals and asterisks,
Shoot and tremble in a mist
Peppered with mauve and amethyst.

I shine in the windows and light up the trees,
And all because I hate you, if you please.

And when you meet me, you rend asunder
And go up in a flaming wonder
Of saffron cubes, and crimson moons,
And wheels all amaranths and maroons.

Golden lozenges and spades
Arrows of malachites and jades,
Patens of copper, azure sheaves.
As you mount, you flash in the glossy leaves.

Such fireworks as we make, we two!
Because you hate me and I hate you.

-- Amy Lowell

Hap Notes: This seemed an appropriate poem for the upcoming holiday but I suppose it's really just because I live in an area suffering with drought right now so all the traditional fireworks for the Fourth of July have been canceled or postponed.

In the poem, Lowell's relationship with someone creates a lot of flashing and flaming and spitting and bursting. Her anger is big and gorgeous and intense. I'm reminded of Buddha's advice: "Beware of anger with its honeyed crest and poison root." There is something somewhat addictive about anger and its full expression, isn't there? It's hard to come down from its adrenaline. And how often is anger mixed with a certain amount of desire or attraction?

A "paten" is a charger, a plate, usually silver or gold. Amaranth is a flower- pictured above.

Lowell's descriptions of fireworks are some of the best I've ever read. One can almost see the display, the reflections of it in the windows of houses and the shine on the leaves of the trees. And of course it is the politeness the poet mentions in the first lines that make this anger so pent and explosive. Her anger is intense, eh?

Here's a Saturday treat- the fireworks competition in Malaysia in 2007. It's amazing:
and part two:

The delightful PES' take on fireworks with CANDY!

and his fabulous spaghetti:

No day would be complete without a visit from annoying orange (well, of course it would, it's just a segue):

Here's where we've talked about Lowell before (she was our first poet of the series!):

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