The Bigness of Small Poems – # 15 in a Series – Advice from Rukeyser: Burst Into Flower

Pink Iris

The potflower on the windowsill says to me
In words that are green-edged red leaves :
Flower     flower     flower     flower
Today for the sake of all the dead     Burst into flower.

Muriel Rukeyser, from The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser, McGraw- Hill, 1982

Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980) is no stranger to these pages. I included her in a post late last year. To read that post click here.


American Poet Muriel Rukeyser

American Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Rukeyser didn’t write many small poems so it seems odd that for a second time I feature one of her small poems. Small, literally, but metaphorically huge. I don’t want to add much to what already bursts out of this poem, beginning with the title. This poem is a wake up call. A reminder to go for broke. Burst into flower.

And the poem seems somehow, these summer-like days, appropriate to the state of my garden here on Vancouver Island. We are in the midst of a frenzy of flowering. Iris (purple, pink, yellow, white); California lilac, poppies (red, pink, white), wild roses, yellow roses and tree-like rose bushes bursting white, pink and red. And in the picture below, a flowering tree thirty feet tall beside our house, festooned with purple blossoms that are beginning to fall, adding a purple tinge everywhere around it!

Flowering Tree

This call to flower! Yes! No matter the reason. No matter the season.