Thread: May Swenson
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Unread 05-18-2018, 06:58 PM
Aaron Novick's Avatar
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
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Default May Swenson

She is amazing. Two great ones:

Bleeding (formatting matters so I have to link to it rather than post it)


Ocean, Whale-Shaped

Ocean, whale-shaped, rocking between the dunes,
in the gateway of their great naked knees,
horizon chafing a tame sky,

your vast back purple, your shoreward side
wallowing blue, fretted with racing foam,
green, then diamond your fin flashes on sand.

Glazed monuments of the wind, the dunes,
their sprawling limbs Olympian lift and fall
to slopes and platforms seeming hard as bone,

but footsteps scar their flanks like snow;
their white bodies shift,
are shunted by you, blue-black, boisterous whale—

and whittled, are rewhittled by the wind
unsatisfied with any shape or perpetuity.
The land, the sand we tread is not the steady

element our feet believe.
Indelible ocean, humped beside the sky,
you unsubstantial we can’t grasp or walk on,

you pry at these gates and break them when you will—
overwhelming whale of water, mover and shaper,
over and over carving your cradle here.

– – – – – – – – – –

That last line!!! I wrote a bit more about the second poem here, if you're interested. Any other Swenson fans here?
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