Poem For Your Thoughts: “Potting”

If you recall, before our unannounced blogging time-out, I was in the middle of waxing poetic in honor of National Poetry Month. And despite the fact that April has come and long gone (I can’t believe it’s July Fourth Weekend already … mentally, I’m still somewhere around Memorial Day), I owe you one, final poem. And I will make good on that promise with the following offering by Elizabeth Anne Socolow. A native of New York City, she is a founding member of the U.S. 1 Poets’ Cooperative (the renowned Princeton-based poetry group) and a professor who has schooled students of all ages in poetry and literature, most recently at Rutgers University. In her spare time, she’s won the esteemed Barnard Poetry Prize; edited U.S. 1 Worksheets; is the poetry editor of the Newsletter of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts; and her poems have appeared in publications such as Ploughshares, Nimrod, and Ms. Magazine. This particular work, titled “Potting,” feels very au natural to me—and on a weekend that most of us will spend outside amongst the flora and fauna (the forecast for the next four days is absolutely brilliant), it just seemed appropriate and sweet and simple, like everything that is good in the world. —JH

by Elizabeth Anne Socolow

A piece of the world is in a clay pot,
earth for which I will be the rain.
And the pot itself came from the earth, clay
a different density from the airy dark soil
that welcomes roots. Whenever I see cooks
mash potatoes now, or roll a crust to hold
the sliced honeyed apples, I see the tree,
I see the fruit, I see the earth that held the spuds,
I see the clay that made the pot that holds
my ferns, and the potter who kneaded clay
like dough, who rolled it, and molded it,
I see the earth itself a kiln
glazing balls of clay,
taking sand, melting it to glass.

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