Sunday, July 11, 2010

Poem of the Week: "Firecracker Catalogue," by Jay Hopler

This day last week, I was watching fireworks alongside my best friend and former college roommate. Watching the colors explode in the sky, I felt an enormous sense of comfort in the knowledge that all over the country, millions of people were doing exactly what I was doing at that moment, staring at the fizzled sky alongside family and friends. It's not often you can say that about an event, which is what made it such a wonderful, content feeling.

Of course, as usual, the experience reminded me of a poem. When one of my favorite contemporary poets, Jay Hopler, came to do a reading at my alma mater, he read his "Firecracker Catalogue." He told us that as a child, he wanted to grow up and name fireworks, so this was his way of addressing that dream. I always thought it was a cool poem, and a great one to read aloud. Enjoy!

Firecracker Catalogue, by Jay Hopler

Garden of Starlit Flowers

Flaming Chrysanthemum

Blue Umbrellas (w/ report)

All-Blooming Chandelier

Birds of Double Paradise

Happy Lightning Rocket

Innumerable Stars (12 ct.)

Bomb of Heaven Singing

Jumbo Christmas Missile

Jumping Monkey Candle

Pink Carnation Dynamite

Fountain of Silver Kisses

Emerald Parachutes (7 ct.)

Loudly Flowering Bower

Wall of Sunlit Butterflies

Repeating Beehives (blue)

Repeating Beehives (gold)

Bouquet of Wild Comets

Blessèd Festival Cannon

Blessèd Family Firebomb

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