Sections

Weather Forecast

Close
Advertisement

American Life in Poetry: Brief Eden

Email Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
opinion Morris,Minnesota 56267 http://www.morrissuntribune.com/sites/all/themes/morrissuntribune_theme/images/social_default_image.png
Morris Sun Tribune
320-589-4357 customer support
American Life in Poetry: Brief Eden
Morris Minnesota 607 Pacific Avenue 56267

By Ted Kooser

I like this poem by 97-year-old Lois Beebe Hayna of Colorado for the way it captures restrained speech. The speaker spends most of her words in describing a season, but behind the changes of spring another significant change is suggested.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Brief Eden

For part of one strange year we lived

in a small house at the edge of a wood.

No neighbors, which suited us. Nobody

to ask questions. Except

for the one big question we went on

asking ourselves.

That spring

myriads of birds stopped over

briefly. Birds we'd never seen before, drawn

to our leafy quiet and our brook and because,

as we later learned, the place lay beneath

a flyway. Flocks appeared overnight--birds

brilliant or dull, with sharp beaks

or crossed bills, birds small

and enormous, all of them pausing

to gorge at the feeder, to rest their wings,

and disappear. Each flock seemed surer than we

of a destination. By the time we'd watched them

wing north in spring, then make

an anxious autumn return,

we too had pulled it together and we too moved

into what seemed to be our lives.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2009 by Lois Beebe Hayna, whose most recent book of poems is Keeping Still, Higganum Hill Books, 2005. Poem reprinted from The Greensboro Review, No. 86, Fall 2009, by permission of Lois Beebe Hayna and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2009 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Advertisement
news@morrissuntribune.com
Advertisement
Advertisement