This poem was featured in a book that I picked up earlier this year in one of my favorite bookstores in New Orleans. I wanted to share a Hughes pieces that I wasn’t familiar with but something evocative of his work and this poem jumped out at me. Magnolias are one of my favorite flowers and in this corner of North Carolina they dot the landscape. As I read through this poem, I was enthralled by the juxtaposition of the ugliness and the beauty of magnolias.
The quiet fading out of life
In a corner full of ugliness.
I went lookin’ for magnolia flowers
But I didn’t find ’em.
I went lookin’ for magnolia flowers in the dusk
And there was only this corner
Full of ugliness.
I didn’t mean to stump ma toe on you, lady.
There ought to be magnolias
Somewhere in this dusk.
I didn’t mean to stump ma toe on you.