New York School poet Kenneth Koch (1925-2002) was called “the funniest serious poet we have”. His engaged poetry is often funny, but Koch is serious about his craft. He also wrote short satirical plays and worked very successfully with children. I read a love poem, “To You”.
To YouI love you as a sheriff searches for a walnutThat will solve a murder case unsolved for yearsBecause the murderer left it in the snow beside a windowThrough which he saw her head, connecting withHer shoulders by a neck, and laid a redRoof in her heart. For this we live a thousand years;For this we love, and we live because we love, we are notInside a bottle, thank goodness! I love you as aKid searches for a goat; I am crazier than shirttailsIn the wind, when you’re near, a wind that blows fromThe big blue sea, so shiny so deep and so unlike us;I think I am bicycling across an Africa of green and white fieldsAlways, to be near you, even in my heartWhen I’m awake, which swims, and also I believe that youAre trustworthy as the sidewalk which leads me toThe place where I again think of you, a newHarmony of thoughts! I love you as the sunlight leads the prowOf a ship which sailsFrom Hartford to Miami, and I love youBest at dawn, when even before I am awake the sunReceives me in the questions which you always pose.