Poetry Shelf Monday Poem: James Brown’s ‘Love Poem’

Love Poem

A chair is a good place to sit.
You spend a week with a poem.
Then another week. Not your poem. 
Somebody else’s. 

You become friends, then
very good friends.
You like the poem a lot. Maybe 
you are a little in love with the poem.

Every morning, the poem washes its limbs
in a mountain spring. 
You close your eyes and watch.
Then you talk to one another like water. 

This probably goes without saying
but you say it anyway.

James Brown

James Brown’s poems have been widely published in New Zealand and overseas. James’s most recent poetry collection is The Tip Shop (2022), and his Selected Poems were published in 2020. Previous books include Floods Another Chamber (2017); Warm Auditorium (2012); The Year of the Bicycle (2006), which was a finalist in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2007; Favourite Monsters (2002); Lemon; and Go Round Power Please (1996), which won the Best First Book Award for Poetry. His poems are widely anthologised and frequently appear in the annual online anthology Best New Zealand Poems.

3 thoughts on “Poetry Shelf Monday Poem: James Brown’s ‘Love Poem’

    1. Catherine Hill

      Hi Suzanne, this is a plain ole free-verse lyric poem – the most common poetic form for the last, I dunno, 70 or 80 years. I’d also call it a sonnet (even though it doesn’t adhere to the stricter Shakespearean or Petrarchan sonnet forms), simply because it has 14 lines.


      Liked by 1 person


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