Cameo

Sappho appears in this poem "Divine Botany" about in part a residency at Casa Valparaiso. Sometimes, the speaker sees the ancient poet; sometimes she sees you, the beloved. I like how the homage plays up a different sort of composition, with things instead of with words.

Some afternoons I see
sure-footed Sappho
clambering
up and down these hills,
collecting oregano,
composing a green lettuce
salad for her shy
linen-skirted friend, crimson
pomegranate
blossoms in her gold-
streaked hair.
From Di Brandt The Lottery of History (Radish Press, 2008).

What is intriguing about this poem ("Divine Botany") is that the beloved is addressed as amante which would do for a man or a woman. Furthermore the dedication is simply to "J". The other poems in The Lottery of History that are dedicated to individuals bear full names. Note that the oregano gathering Sappho gathers ingredients for a salad for an unnamed but gendered friend. The effect is intriguing.

And so for day 1348
22.08.2010