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Category Archives: Poetry

“Arrow,” by Rita Dove

The eminent scholar “took the bull by the horns,”
substituting urban black speech for the voice
of an illiterate cop in Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazusae.
And we sat there.
Dana’s purple eyes deepened, Becky
twitched to her hairtips
and Janice in her red shoes
scribbled he’s an arschlock; do you want
to leave? He’s a model product of his
education
, I scribbled back; we can learn from this.

“Why the HG is Holy,” by Mark Halliday

The Holy Ghost was browsing in his or her library
one day in the future, unaccountably bored,
oddly querulous, vaguely wanting something that would be
quietly unfamiliar. “It doesn’t have to be great,”
said the Holy Ghost with the faintest note of exasperation
in his or her voice, “just so long as it has its own special character.”

“Presence” by Czesław Miłosz

When I ran barefoot in our gardens by the river Nieviaza

Something was there, that I didn’t then try to name:

Everywhere, between the trunks of linden trees, on the sunny side of the lawn,
on the path by the orchard,

A Presence resided, I didn’t know whose.

“The Material,” by Robert Pinsky

The moon-stirred volume of ocean sighed
Coconut tanning-oil and frozen custard.

Birch horses and dragons rode the merry-go-round.

A splinter of the herringbone cedar boardwalk
Might be teased from your finger with a steel
Needle purged of germs by a match’s flame.