Ellis Parker Butler

(5 December 1869 - 13 September 1937 / Muscatine / Iowa / United States)

A Minute


She plucked a blossom fair to see;
Upon my coat I let her pin it;
And thus we stood beneath the tree
A minute.

She turned her smiling face to me;
I saw a roguish sweetness in it;
I kissed her once;—it took, maybe,
A minute.

The time was paltry, you’ll agree;
It took but little to begin it;
But since my heart has not been free
A minute.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Edited: Monday, September 05, 2011

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Comments about this poem (A Minute by Ellis Parker Butler )

  • Veteran Poet - 2,704 Points Terry Craddock (9/24/2014 7:05:00 PM)

    Interesting adaptation upon a traditional theme, first she not he gives the flower, the plucked blossom fair she pinned to his coat could be a simple beautiful innocent gesture; but then an ambiguous uncertainty is suggested with their standing beneath a tree for an entire minute.
    The second stanza She turned her smiling face to me; / I saw a roguish sweetness in it; is as appealing as the first fluttering of young love and the sudden intensity of I kissed her once; —it took, maybe, / A minute intrigues with passionate alluring wonder.
    No a minute long coupling kiss is significant and the third stanza The time was paltry, you’ll agree; is the hook which plays into the understatement of It took but little to begin it; and the clear recognized origin point in this lustful relationship. Love or lust has conquered and now since this first intense kiss his heart has not been free
    A minute.
    The title of this simple short 12 line poem, in three short stanzas of four lines, end rhyming abab abab abab, plays back into the poem as the last line at the end of each of the three stanzas. The title 'A Minute' lays emphasis upon the difference a minute can make in both love and in our lives. This is a wonderful poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Rafael Cazares (9/24/2013 2:13:00 PM)

    The poem was excellent as I started to begin it.
    Thoroughly amused as I finished,
    I realized all it took was a minute. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 866 Points Liliana ~el (9/24/2013 12:51:00 AM)

    A minute... The intensity and possessive powers of love! (Report) Reply

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