Wednesday, July 4, 2012

John Hollander's 'Sparklers'

Oh, say can you see how our old ten and two and one
Our thirteen starters twinkling, an original star
Flared up, a July fourth supernova, (memory
Watching starry rockets now in grandstands, or along
Chilly beaches) Can you see how then it exploded
Westward, southward, urging the hegemony of light
On hills of high, darkened cloud, unwilling plains, milky
Rivers and one-candled mountain-cabins of the night?
Democracy which closes the past against us (said
Tocqueville) opens the future up: but as you sit here
With me on the high rocks at Cape Eleutheria,
Truthful in your shawl, all the light that ever was shines
In your eyes, later to burn off tomorrow's blankness.
~ "Sparklers" by John Hollander in Selected Poetry (Knopf, 1993)

The poem, published in Hollander's Powers of Thirteen (MacMillan, 1983), comprises 13 lines, each of which is 13 syllables. 

Happy Fourth of July!


S. Etole said...

Blessings to you too, Maureen.

Louise Gallagher said...

it seems to me that it takes a lot of work and talent to create a poem of 13 lines and 13 syllables each.

Very cool.

happy Independence Day!