The Blight

By James Lasdun b. 1958 James Lasdun
What’s there to say? We didn’t care for him much,
and you can’t exactly commiserate
with someone you don’t just not love
but almost (admit it) hate.
So the news just hung over us
like the dud summer weather we’d had—
rain since June, the lawn sodden,
garden a bog, all slugs, late blight so bad
our sickened Beefsteak vines, our Sweet One Hundreds,
San Marzanos, the lot,
yellowed half black before the fruit had set,
which, when it did, began to bloat and rot
before it ripened—but like I say
(and not to speak ill of the dead)
we just didn’t care for him,
which is probably all there is to be said.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2012
 James  Lasdun


Originally from London, James Lasdun has received numerous awards for his work as a poet, novelist, and screenwriter. In his poetry, Lasdun explores the differences between his English roots and his adopted American home, often setting his poems in wild rural landscapes or barely tamed domestic interiors. Though written in free verse, his poetry can feel formal in its use of rhyme and cadence. With the poet Michael Hofmann, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Gardening, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Nature, Summer, Weather

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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