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Prince

'This Thing Called Life'

Poetry Inspired by the
Music and Spirit of Prince

Prince Rogers Nelson
1958-2016

 

Dorianne Laux
Poem

About the Poet

Dorianne Laux is the author of several poetry collections, most recently The Book of Men (W.W. Norton, 2012). 

The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Laux lives in Raleigh where she teaches for the MFA program at North Carolina State University and is founding faculty for Pacific University’s Low Residency MFA Program.

 


Spring 2017 »

Prince
by Dorianne Laux


Falling star, fire sublime, colossus moon,
songs rocking in your neural cradle,
you loved all things purple: thistle heads,
eggplant, monsters, tulips, beets, grief,
eye shadow, lilac trees, grapes and wine,
the Purple Emperor Butterfly,
the polar bear’s tongue, fresh bruises, salvia,
carrots before the 17th century, beetles,
orchid fish, the indigo snake, the violet sea snail,
rain falling on the purple neon marquee
where your formerly-known name was bent
into glass tubes, raspberries, hearts, peppers,
potatoes, macaroons, shoes, old tattoos.
You stood for all things royal, for magic, mystery,
dignity. You knew in 1900 B.C. it took 12,000
shellfish to extract 1.5 grams of pure dye – enough
for a single garment the size of a Roman toga,
that the color purple is the most powerful
visible wavelength of electromagnetic energy,
next to x-rays and gamma rays,
that it’s a combination of opposites: hot red,
cool blue. Plush color of decadence, casket satin
and of mourning.

 

 

 

Dorianne Laux ~

 

 

 

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