Friday, May 20, 2011

I Wish I'd Written This

Why is it so hard to write a great love poem?  Why does it seem that we poets never stop trying to do so?  I don't have the answer to either of those questions.  I do know, however, that when I read a great love poem, I can barely stand it.  Here is one such poem.  Tell us what you think of it in the comments section below.

She goes out to hang the windchime
in her nightie and her work boots.
It’s six-thirty in the morning
and she’s standing on the plastic ice chest
tiptoe to reach the crossbeam of the porch,

windchime in her left hand,
hammer in her right, the nail
gripped tight between her teeth
but nothing happens next because
she’s trying to figure out
how to switch #1 with #3.

She must have been standing in the kitchen,
coffee in her hand, asleep,
when she heard it—the wind blowing
through the sound the windchime
wasn’t making
because it wasn’t there.

No one, including me, especially anymore believes
till death do us part,
but I can see what I would miss in leaving—
the way her ankles go into the work boots
as she stands upon the ice chest;
the problem scrunched into her forehead;
the little kissable mouth
with the nail in it.

From What Narcissism Means to Me by Tony Hoagland published by Graywolf Press
Click on the title to go to's posting of Windchime.  Click on the poet's name to learn more about Tony Hoagland.


  1. Love is for the present,
    not a promise,
    then come wonderful memories

  2. Wonderful images in this poem! A real-world love poem for sure.

  3. Oh I so completely adore this poem. Just wonderful!

  4. I wish that I'd written this, too!

  5. oh, I love a poem when it can just take you on a journey and the feeling it invokes in you just kind of creeping up as it's nearing the end, and you're left at the end feeling the intentional feeling that the poet wants you to feel. That's exactly how I felt when reading this poem. In the beginning, I didn't know where it was leading me, but it left me with the feelings of forlorn, sadness, sorrow, grief, lonely, and TRUE LOVE (yes, it exists!) at the end. I absolutely love it. Thanks for sharing this beautiful poem.

  6. my husband always finds me attractive when I feel I look my oddest. lol I thoroughly relate to this.

  7. That's gorgeous. It makes me think of someone. :-)

  8. The feel is modern ... youthful, very much a love poem but not romantic ... particularly (to me). I do like it.


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