May Swenson

(May 28, 1913 – December 4, 1989 / Utah)

Water Picture


In the pond in the park
all things are doubled:
Long buildings hang and
wriggle gently. Chimneys
are bent legs bouncing
on clouds below. A flag
wags like a fishhook
down there in the sky.

The arched stone bridge
is an eye, with underlid
in the water. In its lens
dip crinkled heads with hats
that don't fall off. Dogs go by,
barking on their backs.
A baby, taken to feed the
ducks, dangles upside-down,
a pink balloon for a buoy.

Treetops deploy a haze of
cherry bloom for roots,
where birds coast belly-up
in the glass bowl of a hill;
from its bottom a bunch
of peanut-munching children
is suspended by their
sneakers, waveringly.

A swan, with twin necks
forming the figure 3,
steers between two dimpled
towers doubled. Fondly
hissing, she kisses herself,
and all the scene is troubled:
water-windows splinter,
tree-limbs tangle, the bridge
folds like a fan.

Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

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Read poems about / on: pink, baby, water, children, tree, sky, dog, kiss, child

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Comments about this poem (Water Picture by May Swenson )

  • Silver Star - 3,324 Points Patricia Grantham (11/10/2014 4:16:00 PM)

    This poem is really magnificent in its entirety.
    Staring into the water makes everything topsy
    turvy. A distorted image but an image nonetheless.
    A glorious write. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 423 Points Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (11/10/2013 10:27:00 AM)

    An inverted view of life
    That only a poet can paint so well
    looking at placid waters
    images in a dance so swell

    I welcome all ye poets reading this to my page too (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,116 Points Kevin Patrick (11/10/2012 8:58:00 PM)

    So rich and imaginative one visual image transformed into this work of stellar work, the imagery is just bursting life and clarity. Deserves a higher rating then it currently has (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Leslie Audes (12/4/2009 3:54:00 PM)

    Swenson is definitely a poet for lovers of imagery: of which i'm one! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie dissatified exmember (1/9/2005 1:57:00 PM)

    hehehehe you describe that scene so very well. How true your words are (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »

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