Thursday, April 17, 2008


I noticed I have yet to post any poems by women poets, so to correct this oversight, a selection from a very fine British writer, Anne Stevenson. I was aware she had written a biography of Sylvia Plath, but not until I received a poem of hers in my daily Poetry Month e-mail from Poetry Daily did I discover what an incredible poet she is.

The next day, a fleet of high crosses cruises in ether.
These are the air pilgrims, pilots of air rivers;
a shift of wing, and they’re earth-skimmers, daggers,
skilful in guiding the throw of themselves away from themselves.

Quick flutter, a scimitar upsweep, out of danger of touch, for
earth is forbidden to them, water’s forbidden to them,
all air and fire, little owlish ascetics, they outfly storms,
they rush to the pillars of altitude, the thermal fountains.

—from "Swifts"

My own modest attempt to depict swifts:

a flight of
swifts just at
dusk their strange
high thin music
a thin reed
to grasp a hope
for next day's
dusk and again

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow--what a gorgeous poem!!It has everything--rhythm, ideas, lilt, unusual words that are the best fit--"daggers skilful at throwing themselves away from themselves is just mindblowingly good." Reading it feels like dipping and flying. So good I just had to comment right here online!!!


9:51 PM  

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