Summer/Fall 1999 • Vol. XXI No. 3/4 Poetry |

Summer

Annihilating all that's made To a green thought in a green shade. —Andrew Marvell, "The Garden" This is the summer of the black rose, the summer of Joseph's Coat, Boy Crazy, and White Delight. This is the summer of hours spent repairing pathways, 40 pound bags of red cedar mulch that weigh heavier in these hands than they used to, of limestone flags that fall toward earth with an unearthly gravity; hours spent leveling tipped steps and muddy catwalks, sweat streaming beneath the red bandanna knotted across my forehead, then trickling, anyway, into my eyes, stinging and cleansing; a summer spent on the knees, because everything we do is a form of prayer; digging out from the wet clay the black, smooth, oval stones under the rotting Japanese garden lantern, bought years ago at Madame Toguri's in Chicago, Tokyo Rose, rose of Tarawa and Tinian, Saipan, Okinawa; O, talking rose of all my days; and washing each stone until it shines, even down to the final little double row of twen

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Robert Dana (1929-2010) was awarded two National Endowment Fellowships (1985 and 1993), the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award for Poetry (1989) and a Pushcart Prize (1996). His books include Hello, Stranger: Beach Poems (Anhinga Press, 1996) and A Community of Writers: Paul Engle and the Iowa Writers' Workshop (University of Iowa Press, 1999), a gathering of memoirs of the first twenty-five years of America's most famous writing program.

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Annihilating all that's made To a green thought in a green shade. —Andrew Marvell, "The Garden" This is the summer of the black rose, the summer of Joseph's Coat, Boy […]

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Annihilating all that's made To a green thought in a green shade. —Andrew Marvell, "The Garden" This is the summer of the black rose, the summer of Joseph's Coat, Boy […]

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