poem

I’d say I’m very picky about my poetry. That’s why I love April. Every April, our leading literary imprint, Knopf, sorts through it all for me and picks out the best stuff for their annual Poem-a-Day campaign.

This year, they’ve even got it set up so that you can subscribe to the feed instead of receiving the daily email. So one stellar poem shows up in my Google Reader every day, and I read it, and I feel at least twice as profound as I did before.  

However, if you do want to sign up for the Poem-a-Day email, they are giving away signed books and including audio clips of the poets reading (which, depending on the poet, can really add a lot). We’re a little late in getting this to you, I know, but you can read the previous days’ poems on the Knopf website.

Here’s my favorite so far, from April 2nd, by J.D. McClatchy. What’s yours?

Going Back to Bed

Up early, trying to muffle
the sounds of small tasks,
grinding, pouring, riffling
through yesterday’s attacks

or market slump, then changing
my mind—what matter the rush
to the waiting room or the ring
of some later dubious excuse?—

having decided to return to bed
and finding you curled in the sheet,
a dream fluttering your eyelids,
still unfallen, still asleep,

I thought of the old pilgrim
when, among the fixed stars
in paradise, he sees Adam
suddenly, the first man, there

in a flame that hides his body,
and when it moves to speak,
what is inside seems not free,
not happy, but huge and weak,

like an animal in a sack.
Who had captured him?
What did he want to say?
I lay down beside you again,

not knowing if I’d stay,
not knowing where I’d been.

Knopf's Poem-a-Day thru April!

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