Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Kelli Russell Agodon

I just started Small Knots, this beautiful book of poems by Kelli Russell Agadon. I am totally in heaven, just where I want to be with a book, any book . . . I who always want to leave this world and find another. This is just one of my favorite poems so far:

A Mermaid Questions God

As a girl she hated the grain of anything
on her fins. Now she is part fire ant, part centipede.
Where the dunes stretch into pathways, arteries appear.
Her blood pressure is temperature plus wind speed.

Where religion is a thousand miles of coastline,
she is familiar with moon size, with tide changes.
She wears the cream of waves like a vestment,
knows undertow is imaginary, not something to pray to.

Now her questions involve fairytales, begin
in a garden and lead to hands painted on a chapel's ceiling.
She wants to hold the ribbon grass, the shadow of angles
across the shore. She steals a Bible from the Seashore Inn;

she will trust it only if it floats.

5 comments:

Amy said...

Oh Nin, this poem is so beautiful. I don't know her work, but I'm going to.

Jen Bartman said...

Wow, that's great. I'm definitely going to buy her book.

A few weeks ago I started to think a lot about mermaids. It seems to me that traditionally men were the ones writing about them, but I think it is perhaps more useful for women to write about them instead.

Diane Lockward said...

Nin--Thanks for posting Kelli's wonderful poem. I know her book very well, in fact reviewed it for Calyx.

Val Cox said...

Such a lovely poem, thank you for mentioning her, I want to read more!

jeannine said...

Hi Nin! Mary Biddinger has been telling me great things about your books! Kelli is a great poet, and that poem is one of my faves from that book as well.