21 Days/21 Poems: Marrysong by Dennis Scott

The theme for today’s 21 Days/21 Poems is relationships.


He never learned her, quite. Year after year
that territory, without seasons, shifted
under his eye. An hour he could be lost
in the walled anger of her quarried hurt
or turning, see cool water laughing where
the day before there were stones in her voice.
He charted. She made wilderness again.
Roads disappeared. The map was never true.
Wind brought him rain sometimes, tasting of sea –
and suddenly she would change the shape of shores
faultlessly calm. All, all was each day new:
the shadows of her love shortened or grew
like trees seen from an unexpected hill,
new country at each jaunty, helpless journey.
So he accepted that geography, constantly strange.
Wondered. Stayed home increasingly to find
his way among the landscapes of her mind.

Here’s a man trying to understand his wife.  The lines, “He charted. She made wilderness again”, are delightful and capture his struggle quite aptly.


Dennis Scott (1939 – 1991) was a Jamaican poet, actor and dancer.  He published numerous collections of poetry. His poetry is widely studied and he remains one of the most influential Jamaican poets.  He danced with the Jamaican National Dance Theatre Company.  You may recognize him as the actor who played Lester Tibideaux on The Cosby Show.



  1. Love this poem, really captures a changing mind and relationship, and love how the man seems to be trying so hard and spending time, and enjoying it! I love the line “Stayed home increasingly to find / his way among the landscapes of her mind” especially.


    • It’s so eloquent and beautifully written. Expresses such tenderness, also. I’m glad that he does not give up!


  2. loving this & its description of a married life. That line “she made wilderness again” just stops the heart It’s beautiful.
    thanks yet again.


  3. Beautiful lines. A delight to read. The struggle is there for all to see. When he thought he’s found the map, that would guide him, then, suddenly, the road disappears. We are always learning and refuting past knowledge. We would never know IT. We would only know what we know at each second, for they change by the second.


    • Often times we mock or denigrate each other when we don’t understand each other nor want to take the time to. A lot of patience is required as demonstrated by the sentiments in the poem. This desire to know and understand is very us, very human…


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