9 September, Sankt Ursulagasse

half-timbered houses, centuries
burnished with blue shutters,
window-boxed geraniums

white-plastered, proud-belled
church (and I) overlooking old-
town huddle of red roofs

in afternoon’s sun-silence
a woman tugs at tall wood
door, slips coolly inside

a bicyclist creaks downhill,
stops to watch my gazing
(resting from brick-staired

climb, wondering if it’s enough
to keep drinking in views
I will soon be missing)

between green-painted doors,
shaded flowers, recessed gardens
all postcard-picture except

for this laundry in tucked-away
yard, rows of black clothes swaying
staggered in the breeze

5 thoughts on “9 September, Sankt Ursulagasse”

  1. I especially love the colors in this poem, it seems you were like a painter…
    “window-boxed geraniums”
    “red roofs”
    “green-painted doors”,
    “black clothes”
    Yes, Jennifer, your poem is PAINTING!!!
    Moreover, I like typical English structures like:
    “In afternoon’s sun-silence”
    (We would need a twice longer sentence to say that in French!),
    “sun-silence”… it inspres me!
    A painting, but also a story… a short novel… a meaningful poem Jennifer! Thanks for sharing 🙂


    1. I was trying to imprint the scene in my mind–I forgot my camera!–so I deeply appreciate your comment that this is like a painting. I am intrigued by your comment about the difference between the English and French, makes me wonder if this kind of word-play or hyphenating of words is not typical in French (or French poetry)? Would it simply be impossible, or just not commonly done?


      1. …nothing is impossible in Poetry, I think it would sound a bit weird:
        “Dans l’après-midi d’un silence-soleil” –
        (after writing it I realize, not so weird finally!)
        In French, we would tend to add words or to use partitive articles, like “de” –
        “Dans l’après midi d’un silence DE soleil”
        But as poets play with words, we also can create composed nouns, and “silence-soleil” is not so bad after all!
        In any case, in English, I find it sounds light and very evocative. 🙂


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