Saturday, 8 August 2015

Fashion Fabulous


 "Maybe the world's/ just trompe l'oeil,
       appearances laid out/ to dazzle the eye..."

I love this, a fantastic ode to fashion. A  poem that strikes its pose fabulously. 

I love the clever quips that incorporate famous lines from poetry -  'about gowns, the old Masters - were they ever wrong?' and the extraordinary plumage of descriptions that seem to envelope the poem itself, much like fashion does the wearer, in a voluptuous final effect. Bravo. (I can almost hear the round of applause at the end of this one.)

Couture - Mark Doty

Peony silks,
              in wax-light:
                             that petal-sheen,

gold or apricot or rose
             candled into-
                           what to call it,

lumina, aurora, aureole?
              About gowns,
                              the Old Masters,

were they ever wrong?
             This penitent Magdalen's
                           wrapped in a yellow

so voluptuous
              she seems to wear
                             all she's renounced;

this boy angel
             isn't touching the ground,
                        but his billow

of yardage refers
             not to heaven
                          but to pleasure's

textures, the tactile
             sheers and voiles
                          and tulles

which weren't made
               to adorn the soul.
                             Eternity's plainly nude;

the naked here and now
             longs for a little
                          dressing up. And though

they seem to prefer
              the invisible, every saint
                          in the gallery

flaunts an improbable
             tumble of drapery,
                            a nearly audible liquidity

(bright brass embroidery,
             satin's violin-sheen)
                         raveled around the body's

plain prose; exquisite
            (dis?)guises; poetry,
               music, clothes.

Nothing needs to be this lavish.
              Even the words I'd choose
                            for these leaves;

intricate, stippled, foxed,
            tortoise, mottled, splotched
                        -jeweled adjectives

for a forest by Fabergé,
            all cloisonné and enamel,
                       a yellow grove golden

in its gleaming couture,
           brass buttons
                       tumbling to the floor.

Who's it for?
              Who's the audience
                          for this bravura?

Maybe the world's
                just trompe l'oeil,
                            appearances laid out

to dazzle the eye;
            who could see through this
                           to any world beyond forms?

Maybe the costume's
                the whole show,
                               all of revelation

we'll be offered.
             So? Show me what's not
                             a world of appearances.

Autumn's a grand old drag
                in torched and tumbled chiffon
                             striking her weary pose.

Talk about your mellow
              fruitfulness! Smoky alto,
                          thou hast thy music,

too; unforgettable,
             those October damasks,
                            the dazzling kimono

worn, dishabille,
             uncountable curtain calls
                            in these footlights'

dusky, flattering rose.
            The world's made fabulous
                            by fabulous clothes. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear what you think! To leave a comment - comment as/sign in with your Google ID if you have one, or website or blog address, or if these don't apply, sign in as Anonymous, and leave your name if you like!