Poem for the Day: November 30th, 2021

Poem by Lucy Ives

This isn’t a great poem.
I’m not writing this to write a great poem.
I am writing this because I am one person.
I am only one.
I have a face and a front of my face.
I have two shoulders and two hips.
I’m living.
I live.
So what can I do with my face if it can’t see that person’s face?
What do I tell my eyes to see?
How do I let them know that when they see that face it is that person’s wish that they not know it?
How do I tell them we have to go back into the world where no one knows us and we don’t know anyone?
How do I tell them to stay there?
There is nothing for them to see.
How do I tell my hands they will never touch that person’s hands?
How do I tell my ears that when that person says my name it is only a word?
How do I tell my lips to make that person’s name another word so I can say it?
How do I tell my neck that person cannot see it?
How do I tell my hair that person cannot pull it?
It is my hair.
It is my head.
How do I tell my teeth they will never strike that person’s teeth?
How do I tell my thighs it does not matter what they do?
They are the tops of my legs.
They will fall apart.
How do I tell my back it must never wait for that person?
That person will not hold me.
That person does not know where I am, does not think of me.
Does not know I have exhausted every argument against him.
That person does not know I no longer love freedom.
That person does not know what it means when I ask for forgiveness.
That person does not know I beg the world to let me change.
That person cannot see my face.
Knows a woman with my name and she is a woman.
Does not know the word I hide behind my words.
Does not know this face.
Does not know this is my face.
Says my name and looks at this person.
How do I tell my feet to stand here?
How do I tell my eyes to see?
How do I tell the voice under my voice to keep on speaking?
How do I tell my mouth to speak?

© 2015 Lucy Ives. Today’s poem originally appeared on the Poetry Foundation’s website as part of PoetryNow, a partnership between WFMT Radio Network and the Poetry Foundation. You can listen to an audio recitation of “Poem” by Lucy Ives here.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 22nd, 2021

Wight by Stanley Plumly

In the dark we disappear, pure being.
Our mirror images, impure being.

Being and becoming (Heidegger), being and
nothingness (Sartre)—which is purer being?

Being alone is no way to be: thus
loneliness is the test of pure being.

Nights in love I fell too far or not quite
far enough—one pure, one impure being.

Clouds, snow, mist, the dragon's breath on water,
smoke from fire—a metaphor's pure being.

Stillness and more stillness and the light locked
deep inside—both pure and impure being.

Is is the verb of being, I the noun—
or pronoun for the purists of being.

I was, I am, I looked within and saw
nothing very clearly: purest being.

© 1999 Stanley Plumly. “Wight” first appeared in the May 1999 issue of Poetry Magazine.

Stanley Plumly (1939-2019) was greatly influenced by his working-class background, a fact which is evident in his work. He earned his B.A. at Wilmington College in Ohio and his Ph.D. at Ohio University. During his long career, he taught at the University of Iowa, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the University of Maryland. He also served as the poet laureate of Maryland for several years. You can read more about his life and work here.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 15th, 2021

Power Politics by Margaret Atwood

[you fit into me] by Margaret Atwood

you fit into me
like a hook into an eye

a fish hook
an open eye

© 1971 Margaret Atwood. “you fit into me” originally appeared in Atwood’s collection Power Politics, which was published in 1971 by House of Anansi Books. Margaret Atwood (1939-) is one of the world’s most beloved writers with more than seventy published works to her credit. You can find a full bibliography of her works here.

Further Reading

Margaret Atwood’s 10 essential books (CBC Books; originally posted on October 9th, 2019)

Open Door: The World We Think We See Is Only Our Best Guess: A Conversation with Margaret Atwood by M. Buna (Poetry Foundation; originally posted on November 18th, 2020)

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.