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Shapiro Library

Poetry

This guide is intended to help you identify and locate scholarly and non-scholarly resources (books, articles, etc.) on the subject of poetry. On this guide you'll also find info. on library services, research tips, etc.

Featured Poem


Nothing that is not there

By Allison Cummings, Professor of English

 

As always, a convergence of kindred signs

bunching in one sunlit ray

for a week: the white cat

haunting the twilight yard like a small cloud,

blue-eyed, staring level through windows;

the household spirits flummoxed and testy

over the annual parade of tenants,

hiding combs and spoons

so our hands reach air, hover

in doubt, the ground of ritual

shifted, askew.  Reports of ghost limbs

like beloved, infected breasts,

flesh too tenderly alive to be parted

from bone, arms forever arcing to accommodate

            what is gone;

 

a lizard's tiny tail in a boy's hand,

the crepe myrtle's midnight shadows whisking

dark outlines of peripheral raccoons

across the kitchen's vinyl tile.

Or dead: paler squares where pictures hung,

chips and patches of buried paint,

chalk S's drawn in cabinets:

skeletal shells of a girl's

hissing superstition.

All the senses trained on absence.

How one "loses a grip."

The furniture of our small worlds—

lovers, chairs—nag to be grabbed,

sworn to constancy; coherence requires force,

and sanity strolls out of a will to integrate

even what, left to its own interstitial specialty,

flips and springs into ether.