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Friday, May 08, 2015

Poetry Friday--Rita Dove

I spent the last weekend in Salem, MA, for the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. If it's possible to be poetry-sated, then I am! Saturday night the headline readers were Richard Blanco and Rita Dove. I can't imagine two more outstanding poets, who are also excellent readers, then we had in Blanco and Dove. Both were extremely congenial and open on stage. The audience left not only with poems running through their heads, but also with little bits of personal information about the poets. What a great way to spend a Saturday evening!

Here's a poem that Rita Dove read on Saturday:
Heart to Heart

It's neither red
nor sweet.
It doesn't melt
or turn over,
break or harden,
so it can't feel

It doesn't have
a tip to spin on,
it isn't even
just a thick clutch
of muscle,
mute. Still,
I feel it inside
its cage sounding
a dull tattoo:
I want, I want—
but I can't open it:
there's no key.
I can't wear it
on my sleeve,
or tell you from
the bottom of it
how I feel. Here,
it's all yours, now—
but you'll have
to take me,

Such a simple poem, yet sweetly moving! If you wish to read more Rita Dove, Selected Poems [811 DOV] would be a good place to start.

Michelle Barnes is the Poetry Friday Round-Up Hostess at Today's Little Ditty. Be sure to stop by and tell her I said, "Hello."

Photo by Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


  1. just a thick clutch
    of muscle,

    Yet it feels... a bit plumper after reading this poem. Rita Dove will do that to you. Thanks for sharing, Kitty!