This year, to better celebrate Valentine's day, our very own Peter Conners read poems from BOA authors Li-Young Lee and Wendy Mnookin at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Valentine's Day performances this past week! Each performance included music from Richard Strauss' romantic Der Rosenkavalier, alongside the delicate Rose Absolute by Japanese-born Karen Tanaka and Stefan Jackiw returned to play Bruch's ebullient Scottish Fantasy. The selected poems this year were From Blossoms by Li-Young Lee and How Men, How Women by Wendy Mnookin and we're happy to share them with you today to read and enjoy! From Blossoms By Li-Young Lee From the book Rose From blossoms comes this brown bag of peaches we bought from the boy at the bend in the road where we turned toward signs painted Peaches. From laden boughs, from hands, from sweet fellowship in the bins, comes nectar at the roadside, succulent peaches we devour, dusty skin and all, comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat. O, to take what we love inside, to carry within us an orchard, to eat not only the skin, but the shade, not only sugar, but the days, to hold the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into the round jubilance of peace. There are days we live as if death were nowhere in the background; from joy to joy to joy, from wing to wing, from blossom to blossom to impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom. How Men, How Women By Wendy Mnookin From the book What He Took He wakes her in the middle of the night, and says, Let's go all the way. OK, she says, but soon his breathing - and the small snore - tell her he's asleep. She watches as the moon sifts from one side of the room to the other. In the morning when she tells him, he says, Oh, I meant, let's stay together, you know, forever.
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