The Metal and the Flower

By P. K. Page 1916–2010
Intractable between them grows
a garden of barbed wire and roses.
Burning briars like flames devour
their too innocent attire.
Dare they meet, the blackened wire
tears the intervening air.

Trespassers have wandered through
texture of flesh and petals.
Dogs like arrows moved along
pathways that their noses knew.
While the two who laid it out
find the metal and the flower
fatal underfoot.

Black and white at midnight glows
this garden of barbed wire and roses.
Doused with darkness roses burn
coolly as a rainy moon:
beneath a rainy moon or none
silver the sheath on barb and thorn.

Change the garden, scale and plan;
wall it, make it annual.
There the briary flower grew.
There the brambled wire ran.
While they sleep the garden grows,
deepest wish annuls the will:
perfect still the wire and rose.


P. K.  Page, "The Metal and the Flower" from The Hidden Room. Copyright © 1997 by P. K.  Page.  Reprinted by permission of The Porcupine’s Quill, Inc.

Source: The Hidden Room (The Porcupine's Quill, 1997)

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Poet P. K. Page 1916–2010

POET’S REGION Canada

Subjects Living, Separation & Divorce, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Activities, Gardening, Nature, Trees & Flowers

Poetic Terms Metaphor

 P. K. Page

Biography

Patricia Kathleen Page was born in England in 1916, and moved to Alberta, Canada at the age of four. She was educated in Winnipeg and Calgary, and also studied art in New York and Brazil. Page has written ten books of poetry, including Coal and Roses (2009), The Essential P.K. Page (2008), Cosmologies (2003), and Planet Earth (2002). A novelist and short story writer, Page has also written an autobiography, several works for . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Separation & Divorce, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Activities, Gardening, Nature, Trees & Flowers

POET’S REGION Canada

Poetic Terms Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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