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The Queen of Elfland's Lover

The Queen of Elfland’s Lover
By Sandi Leibowitz

I take you for your eyes
the green of the sea’s brocades,
he said,
not understanding
that I am never taken
and the sea needs no garments.

I take you for your eyes
the gray of mist
that lies upon the sea at dawn,
I answered,
not adding,
or the silver of coins
that tarnish with time.

* * *

Sandi Leibowitz, author of THE BONE-COLLECTOR, EURYDICE SINGS, and the recently-published GHOST-LIGHT, a (non-speculative) quarantine journal in verse, lives in New York City with two ghost-dogs and the occasional dragon. Her speculative fiction and poetry have garnered second- and third-place Dwarf Stars, as well as nominations for the Elgin, Rhysling, Pushcart Prize, and Best of the Net awards. Her work appears in Red Eft Review, Alien Buddha Press Gets Rejected, Verse-Virtual, Newtown Literary, Frost Meadow Review, Corvid Queen, Uncanny, Liminality, and other magazines and anthologies.

Where do you get the ideas for your poems?

Most of my speculative poems, like the “Queen of Elfland’s Lover,” have their origins in myth or fairy tale. Though why I choose to write about any particular myth at any particular time is beyond me. Other speculative poems don’t originate from any other story—perhaps an image comes to mind, or an idea. The same thing is true of my non-speculative work, though most of that is rooted in experiences and/or observations rather than abstractions. I love things: trees, jewels, puppets, flowers, enamel work, stone carvings…. The list goes on. I was speaking to a friend yesterday about our love of so many types of art and objets d’art and said, if I were a billionaire I’d be someone like Jay Pierpont Morgan who collected multitudes of different types of things. My poems often contain that same love of objects of human making or from the natural world, even if their main concern is people and relationships.