Here we go round the mulberry bush, mulberry bush, mulberry bush
Still we go round the mulberry bush. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Four around a table sit
Whether alive or dead
Singing canons constantly
Playing musical chairs in my head:

Beautiful girl, age seventeen,
Where oh where can you be?
Do not move . . . stay where you are
Forever unchanged in me.

Solemn partner, taciturn
No need to engage me now.
Better for you, better for me
Better to cancel the vow.

White haired man, still so young,
It is your ghost I see.
Dancing around, calling me near
But never touching me.

Desperate woman, tied to my form
Drowning in circles with nothing told
Pushing and pulling, back and forth
Won’t let go of your hold.

Round and round the merry-go-round
Round and round they go

I cannot stop them.
They turn in my head.

I cannot let them go.

[Vaguely inspired by Terlingua Talk.]

2 thoughts on “Round

  1. I think this is my favorite poem of yours yet. I like how you took on the challenge of rhyme, but didn’t let the need to find a rhyming word interfere with the emotional tale that is happening through the poem. The words you chose both sound and “mean” right.

    I like how each stanza represents a different person in your life, but also symbolizes a different life phase that any one can relate to. I think, for example, we all remember our seventeen-year-old selves and find them “unchanged” inside us, but are also shocked at how completely gone they are.

    Was it a conscious effort to rhyme before you started on this poem, or was it something that happened during the writing?

    Why did you choose to deviate from the four-line stanza at the beginning and the end?

    Do you realize what an excellent poet you are?

    • The beginning just came to me and I put it in because it establishes the childlike rhythm of the whole. It is like a haunting refrain in my head. I looked up mulberry bush when the poem was finished and was happy to see that it is symbolic of a whole bunch of meanings!The end is meant to be a firm conclusion, so it doesn’t have the sing-song rhythm of the rest. I wanted the poem to have different rhythms from music but that didn’t work, so I decided to use rhyme. I DID have to find words that rhymed and then superimpose a meaning in certain cases. The 17 year old girl is not myself…….she is someone I loved. However I suppose you could say that her image in me fuses with my own. I was 21 at the time. Proust says that you always remember people you haven’t seen in a long time the way they were when you knew them. I keep trying to imagine how she must look now, but only can see her as she was at 17.
      Thanks for your praise! I think you’re exaggerating!

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