Skip to main content

Poem by Annie Finch

Eyewear is very pleased to welcome Annie Finch (pictured) to its pages this Friday, not least because she will be headlining a special event on 22 January in London for the Oxfam Winter Poetry Festival 2009. Those able to attend should: this will be her first time reading in the UK, and it is an opportunity not to be missed - her work is important.

Annie Finch’s books of poetry include The Encyclopedia of Scotland, Eve, and Calendars, as well as a translation of the Complete Poems of Renaissance poet Louise LabĂ©. Her collaborations with theater, art, and dance include the libretto for the opera Marina. She has also published books of poetics, most recently The Body of Poetry: Essays on Women, Form, and the Poetic Self, and five anthologies of poetry and poetics.

She is a Professor of English at the University of Southern Maine, founder of the international Discussion of Women’s Poetry listserv, and Director of the Stonecoast low-residency MFA Program in Creative Writing.


Shallow Sky

In the deep houses, cellars speak alone
till whisper-eucalyptus finds his home --
but stripped, and sodden, like a man gone by
and idly ruined -- what once grew so high.
Now the deep houses are not the only gone.
His voice shows that more endings have been done.
And endings having done the endings, when
will endings come, and where can endings go?
Inheritors, we wait for it to show.

Not in the desperation of deep sky
or finitude of observation. I
have peace without that plenty. Shallow sky
unclench my fist, and sun lie on my eye
across my nose, and tell me how to die.

And it might come tomorrow. Many men
had their tomorrow yesterday. For them
I love a bomb; it ends me just like them.

Not in the desperation of deep sky
or finitude of observation. I
have peace without that plenty. Shallow sky
unclench my fist, and sun lie on my eye
across my nose, and tell me how to die.


poem by Annie Finch; forthcoming in Lost Poems 1985-1989
3 comments

Popular posts from this blog

AMERICA PSYCHO

According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…

DANGER, MAN

Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…

OSCAR SMOSHCAR

The Oscars - Academy Awards officially - were once huge cultural events - in 1975, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Shirley MacLaineandBob Hope co-hosted, for example - and Best Picture noms included The Conversation and Chinatown. Godfather Part 2 won. Last two years, movies titled Birdman and Spotlight won, and the hosts and those films are retrospectively minor, trifling. This year, some important, resonant films are up for consideration - including Hidden Figures and Moonlight, two favourites of this blog. Viola Davis and Denzel Washington will hopefully win for their sterling performances in Fences. However, La La Land - the most superficial and empty Best Picture contender since Gigi in 1959 (which beat Vertigo) - could smite all comers, and render this year's awards historically trivial, even idiotic.

The Oscars often opt for safe, optimistic films, or safe, pessimistic films, that are usually about white men (less often, white women) finding their path to doing the right thin…