Song Without Nouns by Marvyne Jenoff

Poem title:  Song Without Nouns
Poet name: Marvyne Jenoff
Poem: Just when we comfortably know it all
nouns leave us.

It would be nice to keep a few—forest, bird—
but no, whenever they please, nouns flee us,

leaving the the’s bereft and stuttering,
preceded by for’s, with’s and to’s 
but going nowhere,
one-upping the a’s and an’s 
now mootly.

Some nouns circle back unbidden,
say, the Abyss, 
or worse, Eternity—
not even a the
nor we
can cling to it,

we who once asked
where all the flowers had gone.
End of poem.
Credits and bio: Copyright © Marvyne Jenoff
Previously published in Climbing the Rain Marvyne Jenoff, 2022. 
Marvyne Jenoff was born in Winnipeg and began publishing poems as a student at the University of Manitoba in the 1960s. A long-time resident of Toronto, she has published five books of poetry and one of short experimental fiction with Canadian literary presses. Her work appears in Canadian and international anthologies and journals. In recent years Marvyne has had a parallel career in the visual arts, creating and exhibiting works in watermedia and collage. One of these pieces, called “Hush, the Sibilant Rain,” is the cover image of her new poetry collection, Climbing the Rain (Silver Bow Publishing, New Westminster BC, March 2022). She is a member of the League of Canadian Poets and the Writers’ Union of Canada. The Marvyne Jenoff fonds are housed at the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections, McMaster University Library. Marvyne’s poem, “It’s There” is included in the anthology, Hologram: an Homage to P.K.Page, Editors: Yvonne Blomer and D.C. Reid, Caitlin Press, Fall, 2023.