About the Poem
About the poet
Jean Valentine was born in 1934 in Chicago, Illinois and has lived most of her life in New York...
as if at its center,
god would be there -
but at the center, only rose,
where rose came from,
where rose grows -
& us, inside of the lips & lips:
the likenesses, the eyes, & the hair,
we are born of,
fed by, & marry with,
only flesh itself, only its passage
- out of where? to where?
Then god the mother said to Jim, in a dream,
Never mind you, Jim,
come rest again on the country porch of my knees.
"The Rose" from Little Boat (Wesleyan University Press, 2007), © Jean Valentine 2007, used by permission of the author and the publisher.
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