XXII [. . .] you’ve got yourself a common name but a name I can’t forget a name like honey Boss you pour it in my ear you pour it in my mouth you make me say it Boss your name it’s like a bird that’s come to roost upon my lips no matter what it will not stir it sings a single note sometimes it’s just a whisper others it’s a shout [. . .] * XXXV is that you Boss is that you hooting in the hollow are you a night bird Boss is that your face behind the moon is that your hand cupped to the cricket’s ear do you tell the cricket how to sing do you say that’s it now softer softer now you little bug do you pour moonlight on the river do you say river let this silver ride on you you’re up to something Boss you’re like a treetop there against the sky a wave you’re like a neighbor Boss is your favorite game a game of peep-eye Boss are you as sweet as you can be you cutie-pie I can’t keep track of you Boss you’re just too many things at once you’re like a lullaby that never ends a breath that makes the moment last again again again * LVIII [. . .] that’s what I do when I can’t sleep a wink I think about you Boss I wonder all those yellow fireflies even though they never make a peep do they still call you Boss
Excerpts from Bucolics: Poems by Maurice Manning (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007), used by permission of the author. A new twist on the traditional genre of pastoral poetry, this Pulitzer Prize–nominated collection comprises seventy-eight unpunctuated, untitled poems about the natural world, all addressed to a higher power called “Boss.”
One thought on “From Bucolics by Maurice Manning”
I just want to soak in this poem for awhile, love it.