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Home > Blog > May 2007 > Poet of the Week | Jorie Graham

Jorie Graham is one of the most important contemporary poets writing today. Her youth was spent trotting the globe with her journalist father and sculptor mother. She has penned many books of poetry: Overlord (2005); Never (2002); Swarm (2000); The Errancy (1997); The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994; Materialism (1993); Region of Unlikeness (1991); The End of Beauty (1987); Erosion (1983); and Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts (1980). She has received numerous awards, among them a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and a MacArthur Fellowship. She was on the Academy of American Poets' Board of Chancellors the from 1997 to 2003; she currently teaches at Harvard University.

 

San Sepolcro

 

In this blue light
I can take you there,
snow having made me
a world of bone
seen through to. This
is my house,

 

 

 

my section of Etruscan
wall, my neighbor's
lemontrees, and, just below
the lower church,
the airplane factory.
A rooster

 

 

 

crows all day from mist
outside the walls.
There's milk on the air,
ice on the oily
lemonskins. How clean
the mind is,

 

 

 

holy grave. It is this girl
by Piero
della Francesca, unbuttoning
her blue dress,
her mantle of weather,
to go into

 

 

 

labor. Come, we can go in.
It is before
the birth of god. No one
has risen yet
to the museums, to the assembly
line--bodies

 

 

 

and wings--to the open air
market. This is
what the living do: go in.
It's a long way.
And the dress keeps opening
from eternity

 

 

 

to privacy, quickening.
Inside, at the heart,
is tragedy, the present moment
forever stillborn,
but going in, each breath
is a button

 

 

 

coming undone, something terribly
nimble-fingered
finding all of the stops.

Tags: Poetry

Jorie Graham
Jorie Graham
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