"A Hard Coming of It" and Other Poems

(1967)


by Louis Daniel Brodsky

 

Essie

A warm woman,
Heart of three girls,
Beating with liquored pulse,
Not reprobate nor lost
But auctioned by quick events
At a ridiculous cost.

Bereft of gold and myrrh,
The wise one still,
Coming slowly over lifeless hills
To this lush Gulf shore,
Planting Cadmusian seeds
To sprout and revenge herself
With images of Saint George.

Esther from the Garden,
Her kerchief soiled yet white
As life-germ, ranges wide
To Calvary’s summit.
The seeds of ancient Mordecai
Thrive on her energy.

Minor immortality:
Life that grows above the ground.
Outside, a coldblack night
Wrinkles wet as eels.
An albatross drops from her neck,
Throwing off wingspray
Against the eyes’ newer night,
And she submits to sleep,
Counting sheep that pass in threes
Beneath her tired lids.

Use the player below to listen to Louis Daniel Brodsky read this poem.

 


 


Summary:

Striking images of the real and imagined world abound in these thirty-two pieces, from vivid glimpses of small-town life to surreal portrayals of city existence. Exploding traditional notions of universal themes such as faith, love, and justice, Brodsky casts aside "wide-jawed dreamers," in favor of those who "pause on the brink / Of discovery / And shout," realizing "that the dream, / The possibility, does exist, / Breeds like mosquitoes / On the eye's swollen surface."







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