Aesthetic Realism Online Library Poetry by Eli Siegel


      This Is Your Cup of Tea

      The title has more than one meaning:
      First, we're going to tell you about a cup of tea;
      And then we're playing.

      The cup of tea is from India, maybe,

      And then it is right here.
      This means it is foreign and domestic at once;
      Away and immediate.

      The tea flows
      And there is the resisting and helping cup.
      How firm the cup seems
      Compared to the flexible, the liquid, the soft tea.
      What could have more differing temperaments
      Than a porcelain cup and flowing tea!

      The cup, by itself, is down and up.
      Good for the cup!

      The cup, by itself, is severe,
      What with its being hard.
      However, it curves so gracefully.
      The cup is severe and yielding.

      The tea, the tea is there;
      It remains;
      It is still.
      But we know the tea is in motion,
      For it flows.
      Stillness and motion,
      In the same two seconds, Dwight!

      The color of the tea is assertive
      And also reclusive.
      Boldness and modesty, Alice!

      The cup has a center
      On which a perpendicular line
      Could rise.
      Nevertheless, the cup is wide.
      Verticality and horizontality and such, Euphemia!

      Your cup of tea, then,
      Is an arrangement
      Of opposites, contraries, oppositions, polarities,
      Contrasts, warrings, jars.
      The cup is a series
      Of reconciled jars.

      This is your cup of tea:
      A study in
      The everlasting opposites.
      Live with it, Horatio.
      It is your cup of tea.

To read more poems about tea by Eli Siegel, click here

From Hail, American Development (Definition Press)
© 1968 by Eli Siegel
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