Saturday, April 18, 2009

Poetry 18: Laure-Anne Bosselaar

The teacher of my poetry workshop, poet Kurt Brown, invited us all to a reading of a couple of visiting poets. I went, and didn't care a fig for the first poet's work. But the second poet who read, a lively woman for whom English is like her fourth or fifth language, blew me away. I didn't find out until the very end of her reading that she was Kurt's wife! He hadn't mentioned that small detail . . .

Anyway, she read this one, and I loved it. Unfortunately, it's not in the book I bought afterwards, though lots of other good things are.

If you like this excerpt (and I know you will) check out the entire poem here.

English Flavors
by Laure-Anne Bosselaar

I love to lick English the way I licked the hard
round licorice sticks the Belgian nuns gave me for six
good conduct points on Sundays after mass.

Love it when ‘plethora’, ‘indolence’, ‘damask’,
or my new word: ‘lasciviousness,’ stain my tongue,
thicken my saliva, sweet as those sticks — black

and slick with every lick it took to make daggers
out of them: sticky spikes I brandished straight up
to the ebony crucifix in the dorm, with the pride

of a child more often punished than praised.

FYI, Laure-Ann was a famous TV personality, under another name, in Belgium years ago.


Sue said...

Great poem. And you're right. I liked it!

Th. said...


Oh, that is good.