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William F Dougherty

(West Hartford, CT)

Anniversary [Requiem]


I had to break my
promise—marigolds,
yellow pompons fat

as plates, tufts of blue
heaven, spires of
scarlet snapdragons,

smiling small faces
of tangerine and
white portulaca—

Frost seized the garden,
rusted every flower,
blackened every leaf.

I bought rich bronze
chrysanthemums for
your blue fluted vase:

It slipped to shatters
of dark blue sparkles
as if night had cracked

again. I have come
without the flowers
or fluted blue vase.

I stand with only
a cry in my throat,
which woke me to you.



William F. Dougherty
Published in FORUM, University of Houston
Volume 18, Number 1, Page 45
Double Issue on Creative Writing

[Poets: William Stafford, Robert Penn Warren,
Robert Bly, Richard Eberhardt, William Dickey, Pieter
Viereck, Harvey Shapiro, Philip Booth, Janet McCann,
William F. Dougherty.]

[Editorial Board included: Cleanth Brooks, Northrop Frye, Elder Olson, Louis Simpson, Stephen Spender, Peter Viereck, Robert Penn
Warren, Richard Wilbur, Tennessee Williams.]

Submitted: Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Edited: Saturday, June 09, 2012

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Comments about this poem (Anniversary [Requiem] by William F Dougherty )

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  • William F Dougherty (7/12/2012 7:34:00 PM)

    Added [Requiem] to title to indicate previous death, as inRequiem mass for the dead.
    My first cry as you will see now was a birth-cry!
    Note the publication: three Pulizter prize-winners in the same issue. (Report) Reply

  • William F Dougherty (7/12/2012 4:44:00 PM)

    Mark this as exemplifying versatility few even attempt, fewer can do.
    Here's the confidential core:
    Anniversary [Requiem]
    and
    A Promise to Keep.
    are the same poem about the first anniversary of mother's sudden death. Compare.
    Meticulous writing requires meticulous readers. (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

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