Catherine Chandler's Poetry Blog

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The poet as cartonero, the cartonero as poet


In remembrance of Charles Beaudelaire

His is an art of foraging for rags,
for scrap and speck, for smithereen and shard,
for snippets gathered up in bales and bags
straining to hold what tidy lives discard.
He drags his pickings home, capotes, mégots,
an old écu, a button or a key;
then fashions sonnets and the odd rondeau,
master of a dubious alchemy.

So, blessed be the boy who banks, at best,
his smoldering fires of fancy with the fuel
of sensibility; and in his call
to be the city’s ragman, may his quest
permit a vision that transcends the pool
of vomit, to the flower in the wall.

( © Catherine Chandler. A different version was first published in Umbrella, Summer 2007, and nominated for "Best of the Net")

No comments: