Friday, April 29, 2011



— a founding member of Amnesty International and to my mind an elegant spirit and mind at work, and for decades, for human rights and health, poetry, and the mother of four with her late husband the writer William Styron. The latter often over shadows the gifts of Rose Styron, but not really, since she gives fully to the work and now memory of her husband of over a half-century. On a hope, I once wrote to Rose Styron for some of her poems to include in the Origin sixth series I was collecting and editing in memory of its founder Cid Corman. She gave immediately and generously, without the usual latchings of a contract. I was a stranger tapping at the back door for a small handout, and she was just the type to answer and give generously. I trust we returned the favor.



on his pedestal is sad.

Form Moscow to Chicago,

Paris to Damascus,

Capetown to Saigon,

lovers cry out to him

“Sing, sing for us, Pushkin!

The world is mad.

No one can hear our song.”

From Harlem to Havana,

Lima to Prague,

in snow-laced Leningrad

lovers cry

“Give us your land!

Fiercely we’ll guard and glorify

it as you taught us.

Trust us. Trust us.”

Lovers are never wrong.

The world is mad.

Through parks of iron,

forests of bone and chain,

lovers are crying,

“Find us, Pushkin, sing for us,

unhinge the door!

Our view is honor

but we miss

each other and the trees

and all those promises.

How long we’ve had

trysts to keep under your hand.

And lovers cry,

“Should we have known

there’d be no other chance?”
After such deaths as these

(the world is mad)

one love may meet

another, even dance

in Pushkin Square

but that love dare not be

his own.

Tears, stone,

stone tears

stone flowers spring


from street to sky.


if you cannot sing for us

those stone years


© rose styron
ORIGIN, sixth series
edited by bob arnold

charlie rose