Spring came almost shockingly fast to Ottawa this year, and the annual tulip festival has been going on for the past week. I walk past it on my way to and from work every day and can’t help feeling a little overwhelmed, although not quite willing to be as effusive as a real Romantic would be. Line 12 of this poem is referencing a bit the poem “Tall Tales” by one of my favourite poets, Gwendolyn MacEwen: “Poets and men like me who fight for something/contained in words, but not words” (ll. 15-16).
On these mornings
when the colour is so bright,
it seems a little embarrassing –
both to be part of
(as though a veil were lifted, etc.
and how rude to look straight on)
and to write about,
possibly because the poetry of blue skies is self-evident
Possibly also because tulips are precise
in a way words are not,
self contained where words contain other things.
There are so many of them
in neat rows
and there are many words also,