Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hedge Hyssop

NOTE: There’s a dreary muse out in Hub’s cabin that leads me to write things I don’t understand and this is one of them. How the title came to me I have not the slightest notion.

This is not a plant I have encountered or know anything about. But in checking references (after the poem was written), I was truly amazed to find that:

‘Hedge’ is a protective act and ‘hyssop’ branches are used in the Bible for purification rites)


Prayer shawl
And wing-pits
Of piety;
Raw cuts
Of refinement.

Cedar shay
Motif astern

Folded spirit
Broken wings
Unraveled soul.

Ivory roses
Picot-edged lace

Quiet chant
Temple dust
Hyssop wave.
Slow steps
Organ hum
And Hushed “Hosannahs”!


Pauline said...

I'd say that muse is not so much dreary as introspective. Hushed hosannahs suggest quiet joy...

Roberta S said...

Hi Pauline. Yes I knew that hosannahs are joyful, and that is the irony that makes the poem seem rather morbid.

Still I much appreciate your comment and the observations you made. It makes me think your interpretation (as a poet) is probably a whole lot clearer than my own (as a writer more often of prose).