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Poetry

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.

To Hygeia

Goddess, I have watched your motions gratify the world.
Votaries of all casts and ages, genders, voices
bow to you as they must, for nothing follows without you.

An Elegy for My Doppelgänger

Turner, a celebrity chef, wrote Brian Turner’s
Favourite British Recipes: Classic Dishes
from Yorkshire Pudding to Spotted Dick. He played 
drums for the horror-punk band Schoolyard Heroes,
played hockey for New Zealand in the sixties, lifted
the impossible as the eighth-strongest man in the world.

Introduction to Statistics

Suppose we surprised him coming off the path
into the patch of pines and saw palmettos,
two girls with our child-sized bikes. Suppose
he had a reason to chase us back to the path,
his pale face flushed with—what? Desire? Wrath? 

Colony Collapse Disorder

Just as a swarm pours from a hollow rock
In one long beeline for the wild thyme,
Alighting in clusters on this purple and that,
But is stricken with a mass amnesia
That disorients the compass of the sun,

Alice, Bewildered

Deep in the wood where things escape their names,
Her childish arm draped round the fawn’s soft neck
(Her diffidence, its skittishness in check,
Merged in the anonymity that tames),
She knits her brow, but nothing now reclaims
The syllables that meant herself. 

Raven vs. Crow

"Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore.’” Quoth the raven. Why not quoth the curlew? Quoth the grackle? Quoth the—well, the crow?

 

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