A Poem For Saturday

Dish poetry editor Alice Quinn writes:

I introduced the Scottish poet Robin Robertson at the 92nd Street Y this past Monday, where he read with another wonderful poet, Carolyn Forché. Reading his poems beforehand for days and days (and I’ve been reading his work for years) reinforced my sense that he is writing some of the best poems we have in English today—musical, stirring, and beautifully conceived. We’ll feature several this weekend from his newest book, Sailing the Forest: Selected Poems.

“Artichoke” by Robin Robertson:

The nubbed leaves
come away
in a tease of green, thinning
down to the membrane:
the quick, purpled,
beginnings of the male.

Then the slow hairs of the heart:
the choke that guards its trophy,
its vegetable goblet.
The meat of it lies, displayed,
up-ended, al dente,
the stub-root aching in its oil.

(From Sailing the Forest: Selected Poems by Robin Robertson © 2014 by Robin Robertson. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.)