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Heather McHugh, a poet I love and envy (she's a matchless wordsmith), just won a MacArthur Genius Award. Listen to a brief NPR interview--in which she talks about letter formations and slowed down speech like only a language-geek can--here. Read some of her poetry below.


by Heather McHugh

Surfaces to scrape or wipe,
a screwdriver to be applied
to slime-encrusted soles, and then

there are the spattered hallways, wadded bedding —
and, in quantities astounding (in the corners,
under furniture, behind the curtains)

fluff and dander spread by curs
the breeder called non-shedding...
It's a dog's life I myself must lead,

day in, day out — with never a Sunday edition —
while they lie around on their couches like poets,
and ponder the human condition.

The Father of the Predicaments

by Heather McHugh

He came at night to each of us asleep
And trained us in the virtues we most lacked.
Me he admonished to return his stare
Correctly, without fear. Unless I could,
Unblinking, more and more incline
Toward a deep unblinkingness of his,
He would not let me rest. Outside
In the dark of the world, at the foot
Of the library steps, there lurked
A Mercury of rust, its cab half-lit.
(Two worldly forms who huddled there
Knew what they meant. I had no business

With the things they knew. Nor did I feel myself
Drawn back through Circulation into Reference,
Until I saw how blue I had become, by virtue
Of its five TVs, their monitors abuzz with is's


Unknown User says:
“it's really really Artistic and become my inspiration. Thanks ”
Posted over 5 years ago
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