Monday, November 14, 2011

"Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams" by Kenneth Koch

Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams

I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next
I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do
and its wooden beams were so inviting.

We laughed at the hollyhocks together
and then I sprayed them with lye.
Forgive me. I simply do no know what I am doing.

I gave away the money that you had been saving to live on for the next ten
The man who asked for it was shabby
and the firm March wind on the porch was so juicy and cold.

Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.
Forgive me. I was clumsy, and
I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!

Source of the text - Kenneth Koch, The Collected Poems of Kenneth Koch. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005, p. 135.

TJB: Plum lines. These gentle deadpan parodies keep the declarative syntax while intensifying and/or misunderstanding Dr Williams’ erotic motif.

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