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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

American Life in Poetry #66: Marie Howe.

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

Some of the most telling poetry being written in our country today has to do with the smallest and briefest of pleasures. Here Marie Howe of New York captures a magical moment: sitting in the shelter of a leafy tree with the rain falling all around.


The Copper Beech

Immense, entirely itself,
it wore that yard like a dress,

with limbs low enough for me to enter it
and climb the crooked ladder to where

I could lean against the trunk and practice being alone.
One day, I heard the sound before I saw it, rain fell
darkening the sidewalk.

Sitting close to the center, not very high in the branches,
I heard it hitting the high leaves, and I was happy,

watching it happen without it happening to me.


Reprinted from "What the Living Do," W. W. Norton & Co., 1997. Copyright (c) 1997 by Marie Howe. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.



Also at Virtual Grub Street by/about Ted Kooser:

Also of Interest:

  • Call for Submissions Page: A regularly updated listing of competitions and calls for submission of poetry, prose, freelance journalism, visual arts, academic/professional papers and more.

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