by What Light: This Week's Poem
December 10, 2007
What Light: This Week's Poem returns with a bit of winning verse from Sharon Chmielarz selected by What Light judge, Leslie Adrienne Miller.
painting by Stanislav Zhukovski, 1873-1944;
d. in a concentration camp near Warsaw.
From the collection at The Museum of Russian Art, Mpls.
The garden’s divided in half by a picket fence.
On the closer side, a small table,
clothed and adorned by the useful
cup and tea pot, saucer, spoon,
painted in times when it was possible
to go into the house and find
a plate of bread to carry out.
To sit, to eat, to drink
under an awning of birch leaves,
near a flowerbed wash of swamp-red pinks.
Such a plain scene to fall in love with,
I want to gaze and gaze. It keeps
the heart beating in times of scarcity,
a garden in dreams from across a sea,
where one becomes full merely by remembering.
I was compelled to write Garden Scene
after seeing a painting by Stanislav Zhukovski, 1873-1944, in the Museum of Russian Art.
It reminded me how beautiful simple things are, a garden table; how we don’t know what things await us outside the garden. Mr. Zhukovski died in the Prushkov Concentration Camp near Warsaw.
has been a finalist in the National Poetry Series and in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007 nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her collections include The Rhubarb King, The Other Mozart, But I Won't Go Out in a Boat, Different Arrangements,
and a chapbook, Stranger in Her House
. Her poems have a translated into French and Polish, and appear in two MN 2007 anthologies.
Image (top) "An Autumn Evening" by Stanislav Zhukovski, oil on canvas, 75.2 x 115.1 cm, 1905.
(Courtesy of State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow).<br>
"What Light: This Week's Poem,” sponsored by Magers and Quinn Booksellers, brings you a poem every week by a Minnesota poet, selected by a panel of writers and publishers. Look for our anthology, “What Light,” at Magers and Quinn in Uptown or online.