"Stones" in Pennsylvania's Best Emerging Poets
by Taylor-Cate Brown
Quit then—turn around and stumble
Past the parts of me you took for granted.
The trees will rise to meet you, roots
Eager to claim the
Gravel and silt that rolled down my
Face when you kicked me. I’ll take the
Blame for your frustration; I relish
Seeing your tiny
Body vanish in the folds of my rugged
Skirt—ant-like and beady. The fault is mine,
Converging bodies must lift each other.
Summit me, I said,
Then we’ll talk of love. Did you know I was
Growing taller— steeper — every minute? If you knew,
I applaud your vain efforts; few men have
Stones enough to try.
The poem is written in a loose Sapphic style where the matrix is dominated by trochees and dactyls. Though both originated in Ancient Greece, the Sapphic style differs from the Heroic style because it is made up of feminine syllable stresses as opposed to masculine iambs. The form consists of four-line stanzas with a shorter “Adonic” fourth line that has one dactyl and one trochee. I broke this rule in the last line to emphasize how the speaker is challenging masculinity.
Line Specific Notes:
2. Granted is a near homonym for granite, the substance that makes up the greatest interior portion of
10, 11. Mountains are formed at converging plate boundaries and fault lines.
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