Happy Independence Day!

Happy Fourth of July from 49 Writers! 

We hope your holiday is safe and one for the pages. Here’s a poem from May Swenson, originally published in Poetry in 1972. Find a wide range of 4th-related poems and more over at the Poetry Foundation website. 

If you’ve read anything lately that succeeds in portraying some aspect of America, post a recommendation below! 

– Jeremy  

July 4th 

by May Swenson

Gradual bud and bloom and seedfall speeded up
are these mute explosions in slow motion.
From vertical shoots above the sea, the fire
flowers open, shedding their petals. Black waves,
turned more than moonwhite, pink ice, lightning blue, 
echo our gasps of admiration as they crash 
and hush. Another bush ablaze snicks straight up. 
A gap like heartstop between the last vanished
particle and the thuggish boom. And the thuggish 
boom repeats in stutters from sandhill hollows 
in the shore. We want more. A twirling sun, 
or dismembered chrysanthemum bulleted up, leisurely
bursts, in an instant timestreak is suckswooped
back to its core. And we want more: red giant,
white dwarf, black hole dense, invisible, all in one. 
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