Kenneth Patchen

(13 December 1911 - 8 January 1972 / Ohio)

As We Are So Wonderfully Done With Each Other


As we are so wonderfully done with each other
We can walk into our separate sleep
On floors of music where the milkwhite cloak of childhood lies

O my lady, my fairest dear, my sweetest, loveliest one
Your lips have splashed my dull house with the speech of flowers
My hands are hallowed where they touched over your
soft curving.

It is good to be weary from that brilliant work
It is being God to feel your breathing under me

A waterglass on the bureau fills with morning . . .
Don’t let anyone in to wake us.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004
Edited: Tuesday, December 13, 2011

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  • Freshman - 1,587 Points John Richter (1/9/2015 12:32:00 PM)

    The only problem I have with this type of poem is that they are too often confused with love poetry. Mr. Patchen quite elegantly described the feelings of elation when one is in a fairly new relationship - a time when Mother Nature and hormones are at their hardest work. True love, appreciation of the soul, not the body, comes long after the 'walking on air' feel when we first begin to court another. IMO... With that said I must say this is a most tender, beautiful poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Toni Wilson (3/1/2012 5:20:00 PM)

    I have had this poem since 1964, the second stanza reads:

    oh my love, my golden lark, my soft long doll
    Your lips have splashed my dull house with print of flowers
    My hands are crooked where they have spilled over your dear curving (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Derek Baron (9/8/2007 11:30:00 AM)

    in response to anne's comment: i first read patchen in high school in the mid 2000's, some forty years after you did. i feel the same way: patchen defined the (as yet unnapproachable) world in a way that made it seem so magical and so passionate. KP is among the few poets that actually effected my development into an adult (my commute isn't quite finished) . (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Anne Mortenson (9/28/2006 8:55:00 AM)

    When I was young, the world was frightening. I first read Patchen in high school back in the early sixties. He made the world understandable for me. This is a beautiful poem. It's a good poem to help become acquainted with Patchen because he can be so sharp. But even here you can can see the undeniable passion that inhabits all his work. I felt I could connect with him. He was somebody that understood my world. (Report) Reply

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