Literature 1-26-2009

What Light: This Week’s Poem: Jorie Miller

This week's poem, "Coronation" by Jorie Miller, was selected by poet William Stobb.



In that room we loved in the Hotel Silla,
the walls were full of happy roses,
the window opened to treetops and sky.
Daylight was long gone.
There had been dinner
and walking and coming back to sit in bed
and read by yellow light—
something about the light was golden
even after we turned it off.
In the dark, roses were falling onto the bed,
the Arno River flowed past the open window.
And something in me knew
I was timeless as Florence,
and so were you.
When you touched me,
your hands large as Michelangelo made David’s,
you were not someone I lived with,
argued with, sometimes hated. You were not.
Our bodies, cool as the smooth, marble floors,
came alive. Our bodies were tremendous,
the room as big as the night.
In the end, when we moved away from each other,
I thought, This is Florence, and I am the queen.


Writing will help you know your own heart and mind, whether you ever publish or not. The world needs people who know what they feel and think. It’s not very productive to spend much time on the question ‘Do I have talent?’ Many people have talent that they never use. A writer will get much further by going ahead, putting their words onto paper, with patience and persistence. We all swim in the lake of words everyday. We know more than we think we do. Relax, trust the water.


Jorie Miller writes memoir and poetry. She has an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota. Her work has been published in journals such as ArtWord Quarterly, California Quarterly, and Fifth Column. She is most recently published in the anthology, County Lines: 87 Minnesota Counties, 130 Minnesota Poets. In 2005 she received a Rural and Regional Studies residency fellowship from Southwest Minnesota State University to work on her memoir Arnie’s Girl (unpublished). She teaches writing classes for beginners at The Loft Literary Center and at the White Bear Center for the Arts.