Poem of the Spanish Poet

Black fly, black fly / How good you are...

Poem of the Spanish Poet

 In a hotel room somewhere in Iowa an American poet, tired of his poems, tired of being an American poet, leans back in his chair and
imagines he is a Spanish poet, an old Spanish poet, nearing the end of his life, who walks to the Guadalquivir and watches the ships,
gray and ghostly in the twilight, slip downstream. The little waves, approaching the grassy bank where he sits, whisper something he
can't quite hear as they curl and fall. Now what does the Spanish poet do? He reaches into his pocket, pulls out his notebook, and
writes:
 
Black fly, black fly
Why have you come
 
Is it my shirt
My new white shirt
 
With bottoms of bone
Is it my suit
 
My dark blue suit
Is it because
 
I lie here alone
Under a willow
 
Cold as stone
Black fly, black fly
 
How good you are
To come to me now
 
How good you are
To visit me here
 
Black fly, black fly
To wish me goodbye
 
Mark Strand
 

BAP 2011

 

 

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Poem ©2010 Mark Strand, all rights reserved. Used by permission of the author and publisher Knopf. Film ©2012 Motionpoems, Inc., all rights reserved.

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