Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

Sunday Special: Cut Flowers


Do you ever let flowers die in the vase for the poignant beauty – and gorgeous horror – of their fade?

Living the sofa life, I imagine myself in a 19th century novel… a woman who has taken to her bed, gazing at her flowers…

(since I can’t keep fresh water in the vases or cull the spent blooms right now, darn!)

Today I’d love to share some photos and three poems by former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Kay Ryan, a 21st century genius…

New Rooms

The mind must
set itself up
wherever it goes
and it would be
most convenient
to impose its
old rooms – just
tack them up
like an interior
tent. Oh but
the new holes
aren’t where
the windows

Why Explain the Precise by Way of the Less Precise?

    -Timothy Eastman, Physics and Whitehead: Process, Quantum and Experience

It doesn’t seem
right to think
blunt blows
could do a thing
like that but
we do know
are knapped
with rocks so
maybe it is
possible that
some kind of edge
could result from
impacts or large
blasts, a mind
grow somehow
more exact.

Ship in a Bottle

It seems
impossible –
not just a
ship in a
bottle but
wind and sea.
The ship starts
to struggle – an
emergency of the
too realized we
realize. We can
get it out but
not without
spilling its world.
A hammer tap
and they’re free.
Which death will it be,
little sailors?

*     *     *

These poems are from Ryan’s collection “Erratic Facts.”


  1. Allison will love the poems which are somewhat too abstruse for her consort. But I get the pics. And could that be Baby Daisy behind your pretty head?

  2. sigh…this gloomy day…the melancholia of your lovely face…the thought of fading flowers and olfactory memory of vegetable decay that rushes in…brings to my mind the Geo. Herbert’s poem “Life”. I think I’ll crawl back under the covers now…

  3. Ah, that 19th century invocation. I feel so close to it on gloomy days like this one, when I come to Bacon late in the day to read my friend’s thoughts and see her beautiful vision of the world, even death and decay. And when I check the mail a day late and find a lovely handwritten note–for no reason. Then the 19th century feels as near as yesterday. xo

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