Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Garden Spider

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

Richard Foerster is the author of six collections of poetry and lives in Cape Neddick. In his poem he observes the work of an orbweaver, finding it a source of wonder and admiration.

Garden Spider by Richard Foerster

                Argiope bruennichi
An orbweaver, adrift among
the hosta’s spent stalks, black
and brilliant-banded gold, dead-
center in a mist of silks and two
zigzag vertical rays strung as luminous
warning to any flying bird, hovered
last evening, head earthward, her legs
poised to set the web trembling to a blur
each time I crouched to watch, spell-
bound and snared with the thought
that here’s the perfect fretwork
to grace a backyard garden. Now
this morning I see she’s consumed
each filament, digested the indispensible
proteins to respin the entire design
somewhere away from my quisitive gaze.
What must I admire, left with empty
space: an unbending mind
fixed on private workings, or the way
the very fabric of a world
can be chewed up for weaving again?

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2002 by Richard Foerster. Reprinted from Double Going, BOA Editions, Ltd., 2005, by permission of Richard Foerster. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, Special Assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at poetlaureate@mainewriters.org or 207-228-8263.