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Friday, December 04, 2009

Poetry Friday--Rita Dove

Rita Dove is a former U.S. Poet Laureate (1993-1995) and the winner of many awards. When she was named Poet Laureate in 1993, she had just turned 41. Dove had the distinction of being both the youngest, and the first African-American, Laureate!

When her appointment was announced, Librarian of Congress, James Billington referred to her as, "an outstanding representative of a new and richly variegated generation of American poets."

We have in our collection, two books by Dove, Selected Poems [811 DOV], and On the Bus with Rosa Parks [811 DOV].

The following poem is found in Selected Poems:

After all, there’s no need
to say anything

at first. An orange, peeled
and quartered, flares

like a tulip on a wedgewood plate
Anything can happen.

Outside the sun
has rolled up her rugs

and night strewn salt
across the sky. My heart

is humming a tune
I haven’t heard in years!

Quiet’s cool flesh—
let’s sniff and eat it.

There are ways
to make of the moment

a topiary
so the pleasure’s in

walking through.
The Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted by Elaine at Wild Rose Reader. Be sure to stop by.

Photo © by Fred Viebahn. Copied, with permission, from Rita Dove's homepage at http://www.people.virginia.edu/~rfd4b/.

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