Poetry Sunday: “Prepositional,” by Lorna Knowles Blake

Prepositional Above our heads, a ceiling. Across the ceiling, a wide sky. Around the house, birdsong. Between you and me, a table. On the table, bread and salt. Behind us, breadcrumbs Against a wandering forest. Before this, a long wandering. Beneath us, a rich meadow. Or beneath us, quicksand. Since then meadows, quicksand. In you, something, as of a raft. In me, something like weather. Beyond us, the unfailing tides…   From The Wrack Line, winner of the 2017 Able Muse Book Award, selected by Charles Martin, © Lorna Knowles Blake, 2017, and used by permission of Able Muse Press. The Wrack Line will be released in 2018 and will be available here,   First published in The Waiting Room Reader II: Words to Keep You Company (Cavankerry Press 2013), edited by Rachel Hadas. Lorna Knowles Blake lives in New Orleans and Cape Cod. Her first poetry collection, Permanent Address, won the Richard Snyder Award and was published by Ashland University Press in 2008. She serves on the editorial board of the journal Barrow Street and on the advisory board of Poetry Sunday a weekly program of WCAI, Cape Cod’s public radio station. Her poems, translations, essays and reviews appear regularly in literary journals, both in print and online.  

Poet’s Note

The poem “Prepositional” came about because I wanted to write a poem about a long, or mature marriage, but I felt the need for some boundaries. I do love writing/creating nonce forms for my work so I set myself the very simple rule that every line needed to be a sentence fragment that began with a preposition. This little rule that I set for myself created a shape and an arc for the poem that allowed it to travel across the years and emotions I wanted to capture. After all, prepositions express relational ideas and that seemed to be exactly the grammar that my love poem required.

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