This poem appears in the Fall 2013 issue of Modern Age. To subscribe now, go here.
It’s like a watery canvas by Monet,
ashimmer: “Coucher de soleil en mer.”
The skies are overcast, pearl-white and grey;
clouds gather distantly, a dark affair,
unpromising. But in a narrow rift
vermillion thought—a bit of melon rind,
a note of orange—appears. More strata lift;
mist parts; the flaming orb, our cosmic mind,
displays itself in brilliant red, entire.
Rays, gold and roseate, invest the sea,
incendiary, in a wake of fire.
All is suspended, until, suddenly,
the sun, devoured, collapses, sinks, becomes
a remnant—but designing as it dies
bouquets of roses and chrysanthemums,
expanding in a glorious reprise.
Catharine Savage Brosman is professor emerita of French at Tulane University and honorary research professor at the University of Sheffield. Her most recent critical volume is Louisiana Creole Literature: A Historical Study (2013). Her creative work comprises nine collections of verse, including Under the Pergola and On the North Slope.