Two Poems by Paul Franz



I followed significance down the tree
branching through dreams and found only
a broken seed opening into
hope of its strange recovery only
not return in the fruit of the tree.

I rose from the roots and saw the only
fruit above me angled into
sunlight now, now shade as the tree
swayed. I took and bit into
it and found the next tree only.

Do all the ways one digs turn into
alleyways? Always the tree
turned out to recede from me, the only
other there, with one tree
and one alone to inquire into.

Tristan and Isolde

Now neither leads and neither follows: home
Is out of sight and mind for them, for them

Whom nothing severs, heaven’s copper dome,
Green as the grass, restrains the rusting storm

Still massing itself; now nothing is divided.
When it has rusted through, heaven will bleed

Homeward, scouring trails the light will slide
Down to the last, least shoot of grass, or blade.

About the Author

Paul Franz’s poems appear in Prelude and the New York Review of Books. His critical writing appears in The Nation, The Hedgehog Review, and the London Review of Books, among others.


“Etymon” previously appeared in Echolocation.

Post Image

John Duncan, Tristan and Isolde, 1912 (detail)

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