To Dorothy

Marvin Bell

 
You are not beautiful, exactly.
You are beautiful, inexactly.
You let a weed grow by the mulberry
and a mulberry grow by the house.
So close, in the personal quiet
of a windy night, it brushes the wall
and sweeps away the day till we sleep.
A child said it, and it seemed true:
"Things that are lost are all equal."
But it isn't true. If I lost you,
the air wouldn't move, nor the tree grow.
Someone would pull the weed, my flower.
The quiet wouldn't be yours. If I lost you,
I'd have to ask the grass to let me sleep.
 
"To Dorothy," from Nightworks: Poems 1962-2000, published by Copper Canyon Press. Copyright © 2000 by Marvin Bell. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press and the author. All rights reserved.

Poems by This Author

Around Us by Marvin Bell
We need some pines to assuage the darkness
Bagram, Afghanistan, 2002 by Marvin Bell
The interrogation celebrated spikes and cuffs
Mars Being Red by Marvin Bell
Being red is the color of a white sun where it lingers
The Book of the Dead Man (Food) by Marvin Bell
The dead man likes chocolate, dark chocolate
The Book of the Dead Man (Fungi) by Marvin Bell
The dead man has changed his mind about moss and mold
The Book of the Dead Man (Nothing) by Marvin Bell
The dead man knows nothing
The Book of the Dead Man (The Foundry) by Marvin Bell
The dead man hath founded the dead man's foundry
The Book of the Dead Man (Your Hands) by Marvin Bell
Mornings, he keeps out the world awhile, the dead man
Time Study by Marvin Bell
The coffee was cold so I said so. I said,
To an Adolescent Weeping Willow by Marvin Bell
I don't know what you think you're doing
White Clover by Marvin Bell
Once when the moon was out about three-quarters


Further Reading

Poems about Flowers
Littlefoot, 19, [This is the bird hour]
by Charles Wright
Still Another Day: I
by Pablo Neruda
A January Dandelion
by George Marion McClellan
A Red, Red Rose
by Robert Burns
a woman had placed
by Anne Blonstein
Advice to a Prophet
by Richard Wilbur
Ah! Sunflower
by William Blake
Asphodel, That Greeny Flower [excerpt]
by William Carlos Williams
Astigmatism
by Amy Lowell
At Baia
by H. D.
Blur
by Andrew Hudgins
Botanica
by Eve Alexandra
Bulb Planting Time
by Edgar Guest
Come Slowly—Eden (211)
by Emily Dickinson
Epitaph X
by Thomas Heise
Erotic Energy
by Chase Twichell
Evening Primrose
by Amy Greacen
Far and Away [excerpt]
by Fanny Howe
Follies
by Carl Sandburg
Forced Bloom
by David Baker
Four Poems for Robin
by Gary Snyder
From Blossoms
by Li-Young Lee
Girl
by Eve Alexandra
Herb Garden
by Timothy Steele
In April
by James Hearst
Iris
by David St. John
La Belle Dame Sans Merci
by John Keats
La Chalupa, the Boat
by Jean Valentine
Last Supper
by Charles Wright
Little Lion Face
by May Swenson
Meister Eckhart's Sermon on Flowers and the Philosopher's Reply
by J. Michael Martinez
Nothing But Death
by Pablo Neruda
Nothing Stays Put
by Amy Clampitt
Nothing to Save
by D. H. Lawrence
Ode to a Flower in Casarsa
by Pier Paolo Pasolini
On Arranging a Bowl of Violets
by Grace Hazard Conkling
One Flower
by Jack Kerouac
Permanence
by Denise Duhamel
Poem
by John Gray
Poppies on the Wheat
by Helen Hunt Jackson
Practice
by Ellen Bryant Voigt
Queen-Anne's-Lace
by William Carlos Williams
Sea Rose
by H. D.
See How the Roses Burn!
by Hafiz
Shake the Superflux!
by David Lehman
Solstice
by Ellen Dudley
Songs of a Girl
by Mary Carolyn Davies
Sonnet 2
by Gwendolyn Bennett
Taken Up
by Charles Martin
The Dandelion
by Vachel Lindsay
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
by Dylan Thomas
The Gardenia
by Cornelius Eady
The Guarded Wound
by Adelaide Crapsey
The Métier of Blossoming
by Denise Levertov
The Mountain Cemetery
by Edgar Bowers
The Orchid Flower
by Sam Hamill
The Picture of Little T. C. in a Prospect of Flowers
by Andrew Marvell
The Satyr's Heart
by Brigit Pegeen Kelly
The Violet
by Jane Taylor
The White Rose
by John Boyle O'Reilly
The Wild Honeysuckle
by Philip Freneau
To Earthward
by Robert Frost
To My Mother Waiting on 10/01/54
by Teresa Carson
Why Regret?
by Galway Kinnell
Wildflower
by Stanley Plumly
Wildwood Flower
by Kathryn Stripling Byer
Without a Philosophy
by Elizabeth Morgan
Poems About Love
Paradise Lost, Book IV, Lines 639–652
by John Milton
A Ditty
by Sir Philip Sidney
A Drinking Song
by W. B. Yeats
A Parisian Roof Garden in 1918
by Natalie Clifford Barney
Action Poem
by Helen Hoyt
Amour Honestus
by Edward Hirsch
an endnote and love song:
by Erín Moure
Answer to a Child's Question
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
As I Walked Out One Evening
by W. H. Auden
Credo
by Matthew Rohrer
Dear Tiara
by Sean Thomas Dougherty
Dependants
by Paul Farley
El Beso
by Angelina Weld Grimké
Elegy in Joy [excerpt]
by Muriel Rukeyser
Epithalamium
by Matthew Rohrer
How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I Built a Fire
by Natalie Clifford Barney
I Love You
by Sara Teasdale
I think I should have loved you presently (Sonnet IX)
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
In Passing
by Stanley Plumly
Invitation to Love
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
It Was Raining In Delft
by Peter Gizzi
June Light
by Richard Wilbur
Losing It
by Margaret Gibson
Love
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Lullaby
by W. H. Auden
Midwinter Day [Excerpt]
by Bernadette Mayer
Miss Sally on Love
by Shara McCallum
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet 130)
by William Shakespeare
Ode, Aubade
by Greg Wrenn
poem I wrote sitting across the table from you
by Kevin Varrone
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
by E. E. Cummings
Sonnets on Love XIII
by Jean de Sponde
syntax
by Maureen N. McLane
The Love Unfeigned
by Geoffrey Chaucer
True Love
by Robert Penn Warren
True Love
by Barry Gifford
Two Loves
by Lord Alfred Douglas
Undressing You
by Witter Bynner
What Is True
by Ben Kopel
What Was Told, That
by Jalalu'l-din Rumi
When You are Old
by W. B. Yeats
Who Shall Doubt
by George Oppen
Whom You Love
by Joseph O. Legaspi
Wild Nights – Wild Nights! (249)
by Emily Dickinson
Yours
by Daniel Hoffman
Contemporary Love Poems
A Tyrant Seeks Conclusion in the Known Self
by Emily Kendal Frey
corydon & alexis, redux
by D. A. Powell
Credo
by Matthew Rohrer
Epithalamium
by Matthew Rohrer
Fons
by Pura López-Colomé
Footprint on Your Heart
by Gary Lenhart
Happy first anniversary (in anticipation of your thirty ninth)
by Bob Hicok
Hey You
by Adrian Blevins
Holding Pattern
by Timothy Liu
Hotel Berlin
by Cynthia Cruz
I Want the Certainty of Love in Another Language
by Christie Ann Reynolds
If You Must Hide Yourself From Love
by Christopher Salerno
It Was Raining In Delft
by Peter Gizzi
Long Distance II
by Tony Harrison
Love Poem
by Graham Foust
Marriage: A Daybook
by Nicole Cooley
My Heart
by Kim Addonizio
Rime Riche
by Monica Ferrell
San Antonio
by Naomi Shihab Nye
syntax
by Maureen N. McLane
The Ear is an Organ Made for Love
by E. Ethelbert Miller
The Ecstasy
by Phillip Lopate
The Embrace
by Mark Doty
The Emperor
by Matthew Rohrer
The Kiss
by Stephen Dunn
The Long Deployment
by Jehanne Dubrow
The Love-Hat Relationship
by Aaron Belz
The Meaning of Zero: A Love Poem
by Amy Uyematsu
When a Woman Loves a Man
by David Lehman
When Someone Says I Love You the Whole
by Karyna McGlynn