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"Emily as a Plum Flower" by Darren C. Demaree, Read by the Poet

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

In this poem, appearing in Bear Review Issue 8, Vol. 2, we hear the resolve to accept an uncomfortable reality. While the speaker’s exact situation in this poem, especially when taken out of sequence from the other Emily poems in this book-length work, remains a mystery, the approximate one rings true: “The end / is the end I choose / to be found with any part / of her bloom in my mouth.” We can surmise here that the finality of their thing has left the speaker mortally wounded, almost dead to her beside the river, with only one real decision to make.

Rather than cursing her or his fate, instead he decides to let survivors see he has appreciated Emily’s beauty, that he has accepted his demise even without fully understanding it. In Demaree’s voice we hear the struck chords of this resolution.

—Marcus Myers

Darren C. Demaree is the author of seventeen poetry collections, most recently “clawing at the grounded moon”, (April Gloaming, forthcoming in August 2022). He is the recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press, and the Nancy Dew Taylor Award from Emrys Journal. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Best of the Net Anthology and the Managing Editor of Ovenbird Poetry. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.


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