Try As We May

schuyler
James Schuyler, New York City

Sonnet

by James Schuyler

August, tasting of ripe grapes and afternoon sleep,
sharpening, like the smell of boxwood, the grass blades
that yellow an uncut hill a heavier green
while the trees lean in folds and the rose of Sharon blooms
and blooms at each twig and branch tip like a toy tree,
setting a sleepy cat on an after-lunch table
among uncleared plates, white-and-black like the coolness
of the oilcloth in warm shade: withhold from these days
the rain that made the succulence of which you reek
in haze that hides the furthest view and seems like smoke
seeking, before it is time, the ripening leaves
bronze in your pollen-dusty air that films the sky
and, as the light fades, burns blue, that the hot moon may,
bathing its light in water, find its white coolness.


Poem

by James Schuyler

I do not always understand what you say.
Once, when you said, across, you meant along.
What is, is by its nature, on display.

Words’ meanings count, aside from what they weigh:
poetry, like music, is not just song.
I do not always understand what you say.

You would hate, when with me, to meet by day
What at night you met and did not think wrong.
What is, is by its nature, on display.

I sense a heaviness in your light play,
a wish to stand out, admired, from the throng.
I do not always understand what you say.

I am as shy as you. Try as we may,
only by practice will our talks prolong.
What is, is by its nature, on display.

We talk together in a common way.
Art, like death, is brief: life and friendship long.
I do not always understand what you say.
What is, is by its nature, on display.

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A Sonnet Obsession

I am a life-long Minnesotan who resides in Minneapolis. I hope you enjoy my curated selection of sonnets, short poems and nerdy ruminations.

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