Friday Poem

On July 18th 2008 Kay Ryan was named Poet Laureate of the United States.


Known for her sly, compact poems that revel in wordplay and internal rhymes, Ms. Ryan has won a carriage full of poetry prizes for her funny and philosophical work, including awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 2004, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize…

Still, she has remained something of an outsider.

“I so didn’t want to be a poet,” Ms. Ryan, 62, said in a phone interview from her home in Fairfax, Calif. “I came from sort of a self-contained people who didn’t believe in public exposure, and public investigation of the heart was rather repugnant to me.”

But in the end “I couldn’t resist,” she said. “It was in a strange way taking over my mind. My mind was on its own finding things and rhyming things. I was getting diseased.”  —New York Times, Books July 17, 2008



The bird

walks down

the beach along

the glazed edge

the last wave

reached. His

each step makes

a perfect stamp–

smallish, but as

sharp as an

emperor’s chop.

Stride, stride,

goes the emperor

down his wide

mirrored promenade

the sea bows

to repolish.

The Other Shoe

Oh if it were
only the other
shoe hanging
in space before
joining its mate.

Thanks to Leah Culleny