Current Poets - Archive - Subscribe - Links - The Editors



'This Thing Called Life'

Poetry Inspired by the
Music and Spirit of Prince

Prince Rogers Nelson


Grace Cavalieri

About the Poet

Grace Cavalieri is founder and producer of "The Poet and the Poem" on public radio, now from the Library of Congress. She celebrates 40 years on air in 2017.

She has published 18 books and chapbooks. The latest is With (Somondoco Press, 2016.) 

Cavalieri has had several plays produced on American stages. Her newest play is Anna Nicole: Blonde Glory.  

She’s the monthly poetry columnist/ reviewer for The Washington Independent Review of Books. She holds the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award (1993 and 2013); The Paterson Award for Excellence in Literature; AWP’s 2013 George Garrett Award for Service to Literature; The Folger’s Inaugural Columbia Award; The Washington Independent Review of Books Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award (2015); and The Pen Syndicated Fiction Award. 

She has four grown children and four grandchildren and was married to the late sculptor, Kenneth Flynn. She lives and writes in Annapolis, Maryland.



Spring 2017 »

The Prince and the Pauper
by Grace Cavalieri

Did you see his red corvette
parked at the top of the hill—
He was trying to get home,
the inquiry said,
Who could enter that marsh, so flooded,
he was last seen in regalia,
gold braid in the sun.

“Oh he was a handsome lad, “
his neighbors whispered, “a shy one,
but, oh, inside his home, what sounds he’d make,
such a pleasing boy, such taste in clothes.”
The crows flew overhead pounding the air,
“He died of Aids, you know.”
The ravens argued “suicide, suicide, suicide.”
“What does it matter?” the doves cried, “now
Prince will never be Prom King.”
So what if his toothless uncle inherits,
money, the reporter tweeted,
he can only taste tea instead of steak.
“It was never that, his friends said, “never the money.
It was the sounds he’d make inside the house,
he’d bring out at night, finally safe in the spotlight.”
Now that it’s Autumn, and the rain has stopped,
do you see the bottom land
covered with purple mist, rich with greenery,
filled with birdsong of every kind—
He must have made it through.



Poppies in the Sky
For Prince


It could have been the blossoming, the tincture,
the perfume—
Perhaps it was a special poppy—
but he was told, if he picked it from the field,
he’d go right to heaven. And if he sniffed it twice
he’d turn into an angel.
I don’t know what foolish friend led him to
that meadow—
I heard the stranger rode a pure white horse
and appeared as if from space.
We only know he took Prince to the dreaming waters,
and stayed with him, a long time, just to watch him pray.
Then the yoke from the Prancer was put around Prince.
It’s said that Prince felt nothing on his neck, surrounded
as he was by such fragrance that he would
follow it willingly to his eternal sky.



Grace Cavalieri ~





Current Poets - Archive - Subscribe - Links - The Editors
Content © 2017, Delaware Poetry Review. All rights revert to individual poets and writers.