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Circles on the Water: Selected Poems by Marge Piercy

By Marge Piercy

Greater than a hundred and fifty poems from her seven books of poetry written among 1963 and 1982.

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Additional resources for Circles on the Water: Selected Poems

Sample text

The syntax, ash the fifth you lent it, which is metaphor which is nomenclature, bark backward curling as if you knew words from . damage. If only it had been real fire you stole from the dictionary of agony : of five kinds the sixth is not knowing the difference— 41 The Word from His Mouth, It Is Perfect as when afterward blood returns its stir to the ear though his salt still haunts the mouth it is said God spoke to matter during creation what was asked of it and what sound came after what remains remembered in flesh of such speech is it longing is the birch its shape curled bark a presentiment of pain its whiteness is it that of skin vacant as the place he’d taken among fiddleheads 42 surely alone is the reliquary I take to the river’s ruined mill the town bell tolling eleven is the bones I keep behind words’ closed carved doors if matter is the first martyr there is nowhere left to go hear me my way alone I bequeath to the compass each step hedged between hours I leave a lily carried for the marriage of what turns away 43 Long after Hopkins Nothing at dusk, lord, but dust and road to keep it.

Pinnate— . penetrate. 34 vi. Eventually you found yourself on the page : “index . of anatomy”—see : venation—how there’s a language describing entirely : . tongue—see : how willingly you brought your body to him . 35 vii. (see also : “Hart’s Tongue”)— . 36 viii. how there’s a method entirely the end of love : how willingly . a shape takes the name it’s given by the observer : a description of what feeds on it. 37 Theory of Trees ( White Birch) if narrow if limbs white, also are given skin cousin to paper .

Decided it was only ever upward unto nothing, grass and wildflowers, each stem the very thread of trembling, as little weight as color on the eye. There was an order you could choose to enter, another, in doing so, to leave. You were, as before a river or tree decides to branch. 54 West to dust. At the crossroads, digitalis quickens its cups. What in wind to hold, to home, what to house you now? Call back walls, the black slate roof, the locked door that answered your name like a key. Asphalt westward is wet, and longitude, and summer is everything is a noun is touched by water, being led—let it—latitude, curving over, along, farther, away, a way west to dust.

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