Rita Dove


"I Have Been A Stranger In A Strange Land&Quot; - Poem by Rita Dove

It wasn't bliss. What was bliss
but the ordinary life? She'd spend hours
in patter, moving through whole days
touching, sniffing, tasting . . . exquisite
housekeeping in a charmed world.
And yet there was always

more of the same, all that happiness,
the aimless Being There.
So she wandered for a while, bush to arbor,
lingered to look through a pond's restive mirror.
He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

That's when she found the tree,
the dark, crabbed branches
bearing up such speechless bounty,
she knew without being told
this was forbidden. It wasn't
a question of ownership—
who could lay claim to
such maddening perfection?

And there was no voice in her head,
no whispered intelligence lurking
in the leaves—just an ache that grew
until she knew she'd already lost everything
except desire, the red heft of it
warming her outstretched palm.


Comments about "I Have Been A Stranger In A Strange Land&Quot; by Rita Dove

  • Sylvia Frances Chan (12/21/2018 2:08:00 AM)

    This the mist beautiful poem I have read written by an american Poetess! Such loveliest words, so intelligently ordened. Mrs. Dove, may you be happy the last few decennia, I congratulate you with all things you have achieved, excellent! I like your poems very much, they tell about so many faces in life, especially in society, yours. Thank you for sharing utmost intelligence through your poems. God Bless You. Best wishes, Sylvia FC. (Report)Reply

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  • (6/5/2014 8:15:00 PM)

    ............not sure if I grasp the meaning of this write....wonder what kind of tree she speaks of.... (Report)Reply

    (9/22/2014 1:24:00 AM)

    The tree in the garden of Eden, I'd like to believe.

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • (5/15/2014 6:37:00 AM)

    Such a beautifully sweet and tender write! (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
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Poem Submitted: Friday, October 11, 2013

Poem Edited: Friday, October 11, 2013


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