This is followed by the item about the thwarted peonies, which gives us a temporal marker for the speaker returning from the visit with the mother. So it still somehow continues the narrative while fulfilling the requirements of the list. (Right Paeonia suffruticosa, showing the disk that encloses the carpels.)
The last line, “A bud that does not bloom is called a bullet” is something that both ties in with the peonies line but also fits as a piece of “trivia” learned that week (which I did—though of course that’s inconsequential to the poem). The three hard “b” sounds (bud, bloom, bullet) in the final line gives a sense of closure while also echoing the earlier themes of decay, loss, impending death. (Left Painting attributed to Matt Torres)
She used to accompany my Dad’s violin, but because she could no longer play, I became my Dad’s accompanist whenever I would go home to visit. This piece, Ave Maria by Bach-Gounod, was their favorite to play together. When she struggled to play those notes for the first time, I literally started shedding tears at the piano. One reason I think I chose the list poem to write about this heightened emotional experience is because the structure allows you to diffuse the focus a bit. I don’t think I could write about this moment in any other way that didn’t veer dangerously into sentimentality. (Left Angela's parents)
Click on the blue link to watch Angela and her father play Ave Maria by Bach-Gounod: https://www.facebook.com/
fading away. I suppose what I’d hope is that the reader experiences the power of a poem—in this age, a list poem which seems just a random list of facts—
to hold and preserve and even recreate an emotional experience. I hope they feel some of the original emotion that spurred this poem. As Frost (Left) once said, “No tears for the writer, no tears for the reader.” At the very least I hope they enjoy the pleasures of the list poem, and its potential to build, by
accumulation, an emotional effect. Lastly, I really hope they enjoy and appreciate the discovery of that last line as much as I did. Honestly, the line came to me like a surprise gift when I was writing this poem. Although it’s a botanical fact, I found it in a book of meditations by Mark Nepo (Right) which I happened to be reading at the time. Such is the magic of poetry.
001 December 29, 2017