Happy Fourth of July!

Whistler, Nocturne in Black and Gold, 1875
Whistler, Nocturne in Black and Gold, 1875


You hate me and I hate you
And we are so polite, we two!

But whenever I see you, I burst apart
And scatter the sky with my blazing heart.
It spits and sparkles in the stars and balls,
Buds into roses – and flares, and falls.

Scarlet buttons, and pale green disks,
Silver spirals and asterisks,
Shoot and tremble in a mist
Peppered with mauve and amethyst.

I shine in the windows and light up the trees,
And all because I hate you, if you please.

And when you meet me, you rend asunder
And go up in a flaming wonder
Of saffron cubes, and crimson moons,
And wheels all amaranths and maroons.

Golden lozenges and spades
Arrows of malachites and jades,
Patens of copper, azure sheaves.
As you mount, you flash in the glossy leaves.

Such fireworks as we make, we two!
Because you hate me and I hate you.

–Amy Lowell (1874-1925)

I am probably not the only reader who suspects this “hate” may be of the Kate/Petruchio, Beatrice/Benedick variety! Otherwise, why waste such beautiful, colorful, vibrant imagery on such an ugly emotion?

Happy Fourth of July to everyone who observes it–and even those who don’t, because, hey, it still comes only once a year! And who doesn’t deserve to enjoy a summer day?

Small declaration of independence of my own: I am happy to report that the page proofs of A Song at Twilight–on  which I’ve been working for the last two weeks–have been returned to the publisher. Next step: ARCs! Meanwhile, I am free to turn my attention to the next project clamoring for attention. Because writing is what it’s all about!

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