May Swenson

May Swenson

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Anna Thilda May "May" Swenson (May 28, 1913 – December 4, 1989) was an American poet and playwright. Harold Bloom considered her one of the most important and original poets of the 20th century.
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The Woods At Night

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The binocular owl,fastened to a limblike a lanternall night long,sees where allthe other birds sleep:towhee under leaves,titmouse deepin a twighouse,sapsucker grippedto a knothole lip,redwing in the reeds,swallow in the willow,flicker in the oak -...
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Kiwi

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Fruit without a stone, its shiny    pulp is clear green
Inside, tiny    black microdot seeds
Skin    the color of
Imagine    a shaggy brown-green pelt    that feels like felt
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The Tall Figures of Giacometti

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We move by means of our mud bumps
We bubble as do the dead but more slowly
The products of excruciating purgeswe are squeezed out thin hard and dry
If we exude a stench it is petrified sainthood
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Fountains Of Aix

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Beards of water some of them have
Others are blowing whistles of water
Faces astonished that constant water jumps from their mouths
Jaws of lions are snarling water through green teeth over chins of moss...
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Women

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Women Or they should be should be pedestals little horses moving those wooden pedestals sweet moving oldfashioned to the painted motions rocking of men horses the gladdest things in the toyroom The feelingly pegs and then of their unfeelingly ears...
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Motherhood

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She sat on a shelf, her breasts two bellies on her poked-out belly, on which the navel looked like a sucked-in mouth— her knees bent and apart, her long left arm raised, with the large hand knuckled to a bar in the ceiling— her right hand clamping...
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Question

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Body my housemy horse my houndwhat will I dowhen you are
Where will I
How will I
What will I
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The Shape of Death

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What does love look like
We knowthe shape of death
Death is a cloudimmense and awesome
At first a lidis lifted from the eye of light:there is a clap of sound, a white blossombelches from the jaw of fright,a pillared cloud churns fro...
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The Lowering

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The flag is folded lengthwise, and lengthwise again, folding toward the open edge, so that the union of stars on the blue field remains outward in full view; a triangular folding is then begun at the striped end, by bringing the corner of the fold...
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Staying At Eds Place

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I like being in your apartment, and not disturbing anything
As in the woods I wouldn't want to move a tree,or change the play of sun and shadow on the ground
The yellow kitchen stool belongs right thereagainst white plaster
I haven'...
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Water Picture

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In the pond in the parkall things are doubled;
Long buildings hang andwriggle gently
Chimneysare bent legs bouncingon clouds below
A flagwags like a fishhookdown there in the sky
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The James Bond Movie

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The popcorn is greasy, and I forgot to bring a Kleenex
A pill that’s a bomb inside the stomach of a man
The Embassy blows up
Eructations of flame, luxuriouscauliflowers giganticize into motion
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October

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1 A smudge for the horizon that, on a clear day, shows the hard edge of hills and buildings on the other coast
Anchored boats all head one way: north, where the wind comes from
You can see the storm inflating out of the west
A dark ...
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Feel Me

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“Feel me to do right,” our father said on his deathbed
We did not quite know—in fact, not at all—what he meant
His last whisper was spent as through a slot in a wall
He left us a key, but how did it fit
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Landing on the Moon

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When in the mask of night there shone that cut,we were riddled
A probe reached downand stroked some nerve in us,as if the glint from a wizard's eye, of silver,slanted out of the mask of the unknown-pit of riddles, the scratch-marked sky
...
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Sleeping With Boa

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I show her how to put her arms around me, but she’s much too small
What’s worse, she doesn’t understand
And although she lies beside me, sticking out her tongue, it’s herself she licks
She likes my stroking hand
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