“Dorothy Wordsworth” by Jennifer Chang

Happy National Poetry Month everyone! Here’s a poem written by Jennifer Chang to celebrate. If you think the name Wordsworth is familiar, it’s probably because you’ve heard of William Wordsworth, the Romantic poet from the late 1700’s through the mid 1800’s.

Dorothy Wordsworth, the namesake of Chang’s poem, was the sister of William Wordsworth. If you’re interested in learning more about Dorothy Wordsworth, click here to read the Poetry Foundation’s biography of her as well as links to of her poems. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this one by Jennifer Chang.

Dorothy Wordsworth

The daffodils can go fuck themselves.

I’m tire of their crowds, yellow rantings

about the spastic sun that shines and shines

and shines. How are they any different

from me? I, too, have a big messy head

on a fragile stalk. I spin with the wind.

I flower and don’t apologize. There’s nothing

funny about good weather. Oh, spring again,

the critics nod. They know the old joy,

that wakeful quotidian, the dark plot

of future growing things, each one

labeled Narcissus nobilis or Jennifer Chang.

If I died falling from a helicopter, then

this would be an important poem. Then

the ex-boyfriends would swim to shore

declaiming their knowledge of my bulbous

youth. O, Flower, one said, why aren’t you

meat? But I won’t be another bashful shank.

The tulips have their nervous joie-de-vivre,

the lilacs their taunt. Fractious petals, stop

interrupting my poem with boring beauty.

All the boys are in the field gnawing raw

bones of ambition and calling it ardor. Who

the hell are they? This poem is about war.

Photo by Andrea Tummons via Unsplash

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