From 'Far and Away' Fanny Howe has written more than 20 books of poetry and prose. Each poem in her new book The Lyrics "is a lament formed in a place of rest, asking: can we get beyond this and still be?"
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From 'Far and Away'

Fanny Howe was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1940. Ben E. Watkins hide caption

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Ben E. Watkins

ny Howe has written more than 20 books of poetry and prose. Each poem in her new book, The Lyrics, "is a lament formed in a place of rest, asking: can we get beyond this and still be?" Howe's On the Ground was a finalist for the Griffin International Poetry Prize.

To mark National Poetry Month, NPR.org is featuring a series of newly published works selected by the Academy of American Poets. Learn more about this and other titles at the academy's New Spring Books list.

From Far and Away

Fanny Howe

 

The rain falls on.

Acres of violets unfold.

Dandelion, mayflower

Myrtle and forsythia follow.

 

The cardinals call to each other.

Echoes of delicate

Breath-broken whistles.

 

I know something now

About subject, object, verb

And about one word that fails

For lack of substance.

 

Now people say, He passed on

Instead of that. Unit

Of space subtracted by one.

It almost rhymes with earth.

 

What is a poet but a person

Who lives on the ground

Who laughs and listens

 

Without pretension of knowing

Anything, driven by the lyric's

Quest for rest that never

(God willing) will be found?

 

Concord, kitchen table, 1966.

Corbetts, Creeley, a grandmother

And me. Sweater, glasses,

One wet eye.

 

Lots of laughter

Before and after. Every meeting

Rhymed and fluttered into meter.

The beat was the message.....

(for Robert Creeley)

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