Guest Poet Timothy Saint

But Rested Lips

She speaks a lolling language of the limb,
The meter is a set of measured throes;
Her draping arches sway with careful whim
The rolling rythmn of her living prose.
Her flowing bones are verb in turning hymn -
But rested lips remain in loose repose.

Smooth grammars both a beauty and a barrier make
Which I, for want of courage, cannot hope to break.

April, 1998

Timothy Saint's Questions:

While I am pleased with each line individually, it feels to me as though they fail to flow into one another. Is this apparent to you as well? On reflection I think it would be best to have the first five lines roll smoothly out of one another, suggesting the smooth movement of the woman - then the sixth line, "But rested lips..." is disjointed, impressing on the reader a break between lips and body. Comments?

Language and movement are tied together in the poem. I'd be interested to hear people's comments on this aspect of the poem on any level - does it work? Does it improve the poem? What does it signify to you?

Finally, the closing couplet concerns me. It identifies the author - but turns somewhat forcefully away from the rest of the poem. I'd love to hear opinions on its presence and execution.

Many thanks,

Correspond with Timothy Saint at
with your ideas about this poem.

The Albany Poetry Workshop