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The Crippled Girl, The Rose

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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)

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

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The Crippled Girl, The Rose

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