O you marvelousmaker of music
whose succulent Spanishcelebrated all
the ten thousandthousand things
of our timeworn worldwhen you wrote
songs on such smalland strange objects
as piscine scissors,soft woolly socks,
y perro y gato,plato y pan.
Neruda, you neverknew a thing
you didn’t like.Dutiful diviner of
unsettle sorrowshaped as a guitar.
Childlike, youcharmed us, cataloging
joy in this or thathumble gem; ever
weighing our wantsfinding them wanting.
O wooer of wonderwhat should we do?
Teach us,the terrible materialists
to answer life’sappetites with awe.
For nothing is simplynominal. No,
a cache for loveis kept in common things.
[from No Blues This Raucous Song]
“In No Blues This Raucous Song the language is as fresh and succulent as a cut pear. Wagner’s work is full of joy. It is also full of soulfulness and sorrow, but these are packed into lines of such delicacy and tautness that even woe sings like a plucked string. As I was reading, I realized that I was in the presence of a small classic.”
“Lynn Wagner’s poems deftly honor our unruly impulses. She has a marvelous ear for rhythmic urgencies of the American tongue and a wicked wit. No word goes unnoticed on her shrewd yet passionate watch.”