17 April 2012

Kay Ryan: Poetry and Money

Since April 15th fell on a Saturday, Tax Day was a little later this year, Monday the 16th. In honor of the almighty dollar, here is former US Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, re-writing Wallace Stevens' "Money is a Kind of Poetry" quote...

Poetry is a Kind of Money

Poetry is a kind of money
whose value depends upon reserves.
It's not the paper it's written on
or its self-announced denomination,
but the bullion, sweated from the earth
and hidden, which preserves its worth.
Nobody knows how this works,
and how can it? Why does something
stacked in some secret bank or cabinet,
some miser's trove, far back, lambent,
and gloated over by its golem, make us
so solemnly convinced of the transaction
when Mandelstam says gold, even
in translation?

from The Best of It: New and Selected Poems (Grove Press, 2010)


John K said...

I love that you posted a Tax Day poem. I did mine so early (when I was home for spring break back in March) that I almost forgot the day had rolled around. Ryan has a way with the nexus between transposing ideas and playing with the words that signify them, doesn't she? A true maker, i.e., poet.

Anonymous said...

Kay is more elated and gorgeous even than her metaphors and subjects for her excerpts. I now admire her throughout the entire panorama of years, and it is my fault that I have got rippened so late. Anna. datteri@yandex.ru; facebook.com/anna.polibina