by Amy Clampitt

Page 6

Now for a poem which I'm conscious of owing something...owing perhaps entirely to Emily Dickinson. I'd been reading her work. This was two years ago at Easter. I was in California, and in California that year at Easter the grass, which was still green, had begun to flower. And as it flowered, the color of the hills changed.


Undulant across the slopes
a gloss of purple
day by day arrives to dim
the green, as grasses

I never learned the names of--
numberless, prophetic,
transient--put on a flowering
so multiform, one

scarcely notices: the oats grow tall,
their pendent helmetfuls
of mica-drift, examined stem
by stem, disclose

alloys so various, enamelings
of a vermeil so
craftless, I all but despair of
ever reining in a

metaphor for: even the plebeian
dooryard plantain's
every homely cone-tip earns a
halo, a seraphic

hatband of guarantee that
dying, for
the unstudied, multitudinously,
truly lowly,

has no meaning, is nothing
if not flowering's
swarming reassurances of one
more resurrection.

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