To the editor:
Recently my husband and I attended a musical performance based on the “Alexandria Suite,” a setting of poems about Old Town by Jean Elliot. The music was commissioned by the Alexandria Choral Society in 1987. At this time of year, and for some reason they seem particularly bountiful, I’d like to share her poem, ‘Assault of Roses:’
Assault of Roses
“This city is beset by roses:
roses beleaguer streets stretching down to the river;
they clamber over walls
clutching at ancient brick
with thorny tentacles,
from scarred picket fences.
Roses barricade mouldering mansions, reaching to the dormers
exploding torpedoes of color into every crevice.
Smothered, submerged, strangled and snarled with roses,
Old Town grows fragrant, fragrant as attars
steeped in Damascus
for the delight of rich califs.”
Please enjoy and take the time to stop
and smell Old Town’s roses.
-Ivy Whitlatch, Alexandria