By itself, isolated on this plywood,
among this puzzle of foregone possibilities,
his intact head seems to want affection.
Without knowing that I will do it,
I reach out and scratch his jaw,
and I stroke him behind his ears,
as if he might suddenly purr from his cooked head.
A premise: within every human being there is the vatic voice. Vates was the Greek word for the inspired bard, speaking the words of a god. To most people, this voice speaks only in a dream, and only in unremembered dream.
Our Winter 2018 issue pays tribute to the presence of poetry at the University of Michigan. This special issue offers an in-depth look at some of the poets, past and present, who have made significant contributions to the growth and cultivation of poetry at the university, including Robert Frost, Seamus Heaney, and Donald Hall.
Former MQR poetry editor Keith Taylor curated the issue’s content, including poetry by Lorna Goodison, Paisley Rekdal, and Laura Kasischke, as well as essays and interviews.
For my last semester in college, in an effort to be practical, I signed up for a graduate humanities course called “How to Live.” On the first day, the professor discussed the syllabus at length, then asked us to introduce ourselves. The air had drained from the room, and as I waited for my turn I could already tell there was a problem.
“Do you remember our first / January at Eagle Pond, / the coldest in a century? / It dropped to thirty-eight below— / with no furnace, no storm / windows or insulation. / We sat reading or writing / in our two big chairs, either / side of the Glenwood, / and made love on the floor / with the stove open and roaring. / You were twenty-eight. / If someone had told us then / you would die in nineteen years, / would it have sounded / like almost enough time?”