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I like the clattering of hoof on street
Signaling “horse”: slow course of fruit
From earth, air, water, sun and root
Through branch to ripened flower makes it sweet;

Under soul’s music, the eternal tone,
I like mortality to play the bass;
Love and the dancer’s gestures must be grace
Wrested from bone.

All things, however magneted by cause,
Should bear their nature’s imprint to the end;
Should shadow forth the whole to which they tend,
But keep small laws.

From Landscapes with Women: Four American Poets (Singular Speech Press, 1999)


  What a collection of tools poets get to choose from! End rhyme, off-rhyme, internal rhyme; alliteration, onomatopoeia; hundreds of intricate formal patterns; so-called free verse, which obeys subtle patterns of its own; dozens of ways of comparing and contrasting, metres that count syllables; metres that count only accented syllables; metres that arrange syllables into patterned groups, like notes of music, to make language sing what it says! These are the devices that separate poetry from ordinary language, that make it memorable, that break down our defenses so that a poem hurts and heals and enriches.