Spring 2000 • Vol. XXII No. 2 Poetry |

Black and White

Black: From bhel to shine, flash burn: shining white. White stones, frost, doves, icelight, icewind. Wanting words for more white and more black, Celan found the cliff where eyebright grew in reams---Augentrost, Indian pipe--- his flower with white petals that dry black. He gave them to his love and, stark years later, black boots, black whips, and black guns dried white. Black-and-white shone out in terror then: news headlines, a black telephone's white numbers, the silhouette of a border guard. In peace they brawl, hushed, fire in those icy tones. My dreams are silent films in black-and-white, a mime in whiteface dances his grief, words cut the page, light glows inside the pear tree. Now in our lives' solstice, we watch white rise out of blackness. Seaspray. Under stars, plankton in waves that roll in white-on-black; at noon, the white-hot road comes clear of shadows. Here, tulips blaze in light that has pried open the cask of winter; trees lift bridal

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Grace Schulman’s seventh collection of poems, Without a Claim, was published in September 2013 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Mariner Booka). She is Distinguished Professor, Baruch College, CUNY.

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