Patricia Clark

Les Rochers de Belle-Ile [after the painting by Claude Monet]
May 22, 2019 Clark Patricia

Les Rochers de Belle-Ile [after the painting by Claude Monet]
No beach here—just the sea
swirling in blue
deep blue and green
Both the sea and the rocks
show age
It’s a tired scene of their
coming together
each hour and day
The water’s force, erosion
of all the softest parts
leaving only solid rock
This you could be
crushed upon—the hardest
knowledge of all—
What is impervious to you, quite
solidly indifferent
No escaping how the sea
throws you repeatedly on the rocks
of all you’re stupid about—
self-ignorance, deception, lies—
Instead someone calls this a scene,
a landscape, seascape—
Yes, but first: crags of the mind, and soul.

Patricia Clark is the author of six volumes of poetry, including Sunday Rising, The Canopy and most recently Self Portrait with a Million Dollars. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Gettysburg Review, Poetry, Plume, and Slate, among others. She received the 2018 Book of the Year Award from Poetry Society of Virginia for The Canopy. Her new book, her seventh, O Lucky Day is forthcoming in January 2025 from Madville Publishing.