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Poetry

Elegy for the Bully

You have always been nosebleed 
     and nail-bite, the spit-shined halls 
where you harvested us with your tribal 
     clang. Too long we saw your face 
in every shadow, felt the whole forest 
     await your arrival like a nagging frost.  

Poems About Gaza by Jews

He found me browsing the poetry section of a bookstore.
I remembered his face from my last readings.

He found me browsing the poetry section of a bookstore.
I refused his leaflet. His voice became agitated and loud.

Illustration by Anna Schuleit Haber

Nashua

I had driven to Nashua to look for farmhouses. I was researching abandoned farmhouses and wanted to find a part of New Hampshire with both rural and urban poverty. 

Meditation on a Line From Novalis

When his beloved Sophie died, Novalis 
Lay by her grave and wept himself to sleep.
On the third night she met him in a dream.
He woke transformed, longing for the last trance,
“When sleep shall be without waking.” 

Photograph by Fred Viebahn

An Interview With Rita Dove

In Germany, I began to experience what it was like to think in another language. Also, the way Germans looked at me—with curiosity but no racial baggage—was so different than Americans. I began to understand a little bit more about my own country and how I fit in or not. 

Impossible Bottle. By Claudia Emerson. LSU, 2015. 65p. PB, $17.95.

Ecstatic Sorrow

Claudia Emerson, who died in December 2014, had come to be known as a poet capable of revealing startling discoveries inside quiet, quotidian circumstances. Her poems are set mostly in Southern rural and small-town scenes, moments in ordinary lives that would normally elude anyone else’s attention.

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