POeT SHOT # 7 - Greenblatt's Thoughts on a Poem by Philip Dacey

POeT SHOT #7                                                                                             Blog Post by Ray Greenblatt

THE SENTENCE      by Philip Dacey

It could have been a desert,
as beautiful and dry
as grammar, the sun burning
with the logic of parts of speech.
I crawled happily there, the sand of syntax

cradling my knees, rocks,
those punctuation marks, slowing me
into attentiveness. Some words tufted
like cactus, with little flowers
of sound topping them.

I lay in their shadow, cooled,
every subordinate clause
a ravine to skid down into,
dunes rising and falling
rhythmically, phrase after phrase,

an eros of contours. And when the sun
was setting on what had been written
and the shadows of letters lengthened,
verbs chased each other, desert animals,
the only motion to be seen.

Then darkness, a great, overarching full stop,
left me alone and forlorn,
waiting for the sun to rise
on the presumption
of the next sentence's opening gesture.

How can the sun be a part of speech or sand syntax? How can a ravine be a subordinate clause or dunes be phrases? Only through the poet's imagination and the written magic of poetry.