Beginning with a Couplet from Jane Kenyon's Boat Of Quiet
Hours and Continuing with One from Jorie Graham's Region
of Unlikeness, Proceeding with Another Couplet from the
Kenyon Book, One from the Graham, and So On Until the . .
. . . Last Couplet, Which is by Seamus Heaney (a Cento)
I was reading about rationalism,
the kind of thing we do up north.
Now I will make a sound for you to hear.
A sound without a mouth.
The sound of water rushing over trees
felled by the zealous beavers,
look up and it's suitors, applause,
it's fast-forward into the labyrinth
of my red dress with blue leaves
and lemon lilies--the one you bought for me—
sounds rising up now and then from the valley,
a hammering, intermittently a dog,
mid-afternoon the sound of weeping in the hall
woke me…hurried steps on the stair, and a door,
on the steps across the street a teacup of flour.
Three mismatched linen napkins folded below it—
the tiers of sugared pastries: angel wings,
cat tongues, and little kiwi tarts;
Let's consider the dark, how green it is.
Let's consider the green, how dark, with the rocker at its
You are like a rich man entering heaven
Through the ear of a raindrop. Listen now again.
Author Discusses Poems