Published on Academy of American Poets (

Making It Up as You Go Along

Lucretius loved Epicurus, knew
the world through him; his
meaning was clear: love as a way
of knowing, of assuming the known.

To know is to narrate.
People die trying to tell what
it was like there then. Others
die of not trying. The form of this
telling is, for example,
a trellis. A growth controlled
unpredictable within measure.

Trellis. Tri licium. three threads.
The weaver knows
through the fingers the way worlds
hold together. Basket makers.
The shadow of a trellis is filled
against itself, against measure.
See the sun try again to
stop the movement of the rose

climbing among the woven ways.


Copyright © 2014 by Bin Ramke. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on April 23, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

About this Poem

“Like so many of my attempts, this poem uses the etymology of a word as a sort of, well, trellis. And it is a meditation on how sun and flower dance, deny and entangle each other—that is, it is an examination of how in the natural world, as in poetry, form is more fundamental than matter.” 
— Bin Ramke


Bin Ramke

Bin Ramke is the author of Massacre of the Innocents (University of Iowa Press, 1995) and Wake (University of Iowa Press, 1998), both of which won the Iowa Poetry Prize.

Date Published: 2014-04-23

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