The Crippled Girl, The Rose

By David Ferry b. 1924 David Ferry
It was as if a flower bloomed as if
Its muttering root and stem had suddenly spoken,

Uttering on the air a poem of summer,
The rose the utterance of its root and stem.

Thus her beautiful face, the crippled girl’s,
Was like the poem spoken by her body—

The richness of that face!—most generous
In what it keeps, giving in its having.

The rose reserves the sweetness that it yields,
Petal on petal, telling its own silence,

Her beauty saying from its thorny stalk
That what it is is kept as it is given.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2011
 David  Ferry


David Ferry is an acclaimed American poet and translator. Ferry’s translations, which include some of the world's major works of poetry including The Odes of Horace, and both The Eclogues and Georgics of Virgil, are known for their fluency and grace. In addition to his lauded translations, Ferry is also a prize-winning poet in his own right. His poetic works include Dwelling Places (1993) and Of No Country I Know: New and . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Youth, Nature, Trees & Flowers

Poetic Terms Couplet, Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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