Scallop Song

I wore a garland of the briar that put me now in awe

I wore a garland of the brain that was whole

It commanded me, done babbling

And I no more blabbed, spare no lie

Tell womanhood she shake off pity

Tell the man to give up tumult for the while

To wonder at the sight of baby's beauty

Ne let the monsters fray us with things that not be

From a high tower poem issuing

Everything run along in creation till I end the song

Ne none fit for so wild beasts

Ne none so joyous, ne none no give no lie

Tell old woes to leave off here:

I sing this into a scallop shell with face of a pearl

& leave all sorrow bye & bye.

Anne Waldman, “Scallop Song” from Helping the Dreamer: Selected Poems, 1966-1988. Copyright © 1989 by Anne Waldman. Reprinted with the permission of Coffee House Press, Minneapolis,
Source: Helping the Dreamer: Selected Poems 1966-1988 (Coffee House Press, 1989)
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