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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

Comments

Dave King said…
A fine poem. I got a lot from this.
I enyoyed it. It's just great because of its symmetry and the contrast between the title and the depth and openness of the lines.
Dee said…
It is so difficult to write a poem about death; so many countless
overdone words on which to get snaged. A wonderfully original poem. Dee

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