Saturday Poetry – ‘It Begins With the Trees’ by Ada Limón
This week’s Saturday Poetry brings you the soul-stirring poem titled ‘It Begins With the Trees’ by Ada Limón. She is the author of The Carrying (Milkweed Editions, 2018) and Bright Dead Things (Milkweed Editions, 2015), which was a finalist for the National Book Award.
Limón’s first collection of poetry, Lucky Wreck (Autumn House Press, 2006), was the winner of the 2005 Autumn House Poetry Prize. She is also the author of The Hurting Kind (Milkweed Editions, 2022); The Carrying (Milkweed Editions, 2018); Bright Dead Things (Milkweed Editions, 2015), which was a finalist for the National Book Award; Sharks in the Rivers (Milkweed Editions, 2010); and This Big Fake World (Pearl Editions, 2006), winner of the 2005 Pearl Poetry Prize. Of Limón’s work, the poet Richard Blanco writes, “Both soft and tender, enormous and resounding, her poetic gestures entrance and transfix.”
A 2001–2002 fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and a Guggenheim Fellow, Limón has also received a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts and won the Chicago Literary Award for Poetry. In April 2023, Limón served as Guest Editor of the Poem-a-Day series. In the same year, she was the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Grant.
For this edition of Saturday Poetry, we have paired Limon’s emotive words with mobile art by the talented @silkemetzartivist with the captivating artwork untitled complementing the poem’s essence beautifully, creating a symphony of emotions.
To view the others we have published in this section, go here.
‘It Begins With the Trees’ by Ada Limón
Two full cypress trees in the clearing
intertwine in a way that almost makes
them seem like one. Until at a certain angle
from the blue blow-up pool I bought
this summer to save my life, I see it
is not one tree, but two, and they are
kissing. They are kissing so tenderly
it feels rude to watch, one hand
on the other’s shoulder, another
in the other’s branches, like hair.
When did kissing become so
dangerous? Or was it always so?
That illicit kiss in the bathroom
of the Four-Faced Liar, a bar
named after a clock, what was her
name? Or the first one with you
on the corner of Metropolitan
Avenue, before you came home
with me forever. I watch those green
trees now and it feels libidinous.
I want them to go on kissing, without
fear. I want to watch them and not
feel so abandoned by hands. Come
home. Everything is begging you.
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