The Harvest of Roses
by Michael R. Burch
for Harvey Stanbrough
I have not come for the harvest of roses—
the poets' mad visions,
their railing at rhyme ...
for I have discerned what their writing discloses:
weak words wanting meaning,
beat torsioning time.
Nor have I come for the reaping of gossamer—
too forced not to fail;
gathered by poets who worship their luster,
they shimmer, impendent,
This poem was originally published by The Raintown Review when Harvey Stanbrough was the editor, then later by Mindful of Poetry. I wrote the poem out of dissatisfaction with the strange idea that poetry should consist entirely or primarily of concrete images. Would the “experts” who espouse this bizarre idea junk the great soliloquies of Shakespeare and Milton and the direct statement poems of A. E. Housman? It also bears noting that the twin titans of English modernism, Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot, did an awful lot of “telling” rather than always “showing.” Keywords/Tags: Harvest, roses, images, imagery, imagism, meter, time, beat, rhyme, shimmer, gloss, perfume, reap, reaping, gossamer