The Butterfly

After Robert Frost and Robert Hass

There are no butterfly days here, where spring
Crystallizes on cold surfaces — I reverse,
In a half life, an undeveloped mind
Caught in the winged acid dark, a purple breath

Volatizing thoughts into the atmosphere.
But you wash ash with water, returning
Violets to the soil with new rain, and
I am made heavy with the taste of salt.


N.B After’ is a method Kavanagh has developed in writing in which the writing of another poet, or poets, is reflected in a different original piece. It is inspired by the Irish ‘macalla’ — which means echo, or ‘son of the cliff face’. In this instance it is ‘The Butterfly’ by Robert Frost combined with the scientific poesy of Robert Hass.


This poem can be found in the Independent Variable Anthology.

Erin Kavanagh is an Anglo-Irish poet living in the Westest, Wettest, Wales. Her work spans both conventional and non-traditional forms as well as being a medium for archaeological communication. Her website is available here.

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