Morrow Anthology of Younger American Poets

Morrow Anthology of Younger American Poets

by Dave Smith
     
 

Of the one hundred and four poets included in The Morrow Anthology of Younger American Poets, more than fifty are making their first appearance in a major anthology. Each has had at least one book published, and all were born since 1940. Never before have the works of such a number of men and women who have so influenced and will continue to influenceSee more details below

Overview

Of the one hundred and four poets included in The Morrow Anthology of Younger American Poets, more than fifty are making their first appearance in a major anthology. Each has had at least one book published, and all were born since 1940. Never before have the works of such a number of men and women who have so influenced and will continue to influence contemporary American poetry been collected in a single anthology. These younger poets have won an impressive array of awards, including Lamont prizes, Devins awards, Walt Whitman awards, Yale Younger Poet awards—more than thirty such awards, in fact. They represent the finest talents in America, and their work is diverse, rich, and exciting.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688034504
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/28/1985
Pages:
784
Product dimensions:
6.08(w) x 9.22(h) x 2.09(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Diane Ackerman

A Fine, A Private Place

He took her one day
under the blue horizon
where long sea fingers
parted like beads
hitched in the doorway
of an opium den,
and canyons mazed the deep
reef with hollows,
cul-de-sacs, and narrow boudoirs,
and had to ask twice
before she understood
his stroking her arm
with a marine feather
slobbery as aloe pulp
was wooing, or saw the octopus
in his swimsuit
stretch one tentacle
and ripple its silky bag.

While bubbles rose
like globs of mercury,
they made love mask
to mask, floating
with oceans of air between them,
she his sea-geisha
in an orange kimono
of belts and vests,
her lacquered hair waving,
as Indigo Hamlets
tattooed the vista,
and sunlight
cut through the water,
twisting its knives
into corridors of light.

His sandy hair
and sea-blue eyes,
his kelp-thin waist
and chest ribbed wider
than a sandbar
where muscles domed
clear and taut as shells
(freckled cowries,
flat, brawny scallops
the color of dawn),
his sea-battered hands
gripping her thighs
like tawny starfish
and drawing her close
as a pirate vessel
to let her board:
who was this she loved?

Overhead, sponges
sweating raw color
jutted from a coral arch,
Clown Wrasses
hovered like fireworks,
and somewhere an abalone opened
its silver wings.
Part of a lusty dream
under aspic, her hips rolled
like a Spanish galleon,
her eyes swam
and chest began to heave.
Gasps melted onthe tide.
Knowing she would soon be
breathless as her tank,
he pumped his brine
deep within her,
letting sea water drive it
through petals
delicate as anemone veils
to the dark purpose
of a conch-shaped womb.
An ear to her loins
would have heard the sea roar.

When panting ebbed,
and he signaled Okay?
as lovers have asked,
land or waterbound
since time heaved ho,
he led her to safety:
shallower realms,
heading back toward
the boat's even keel,
though ocean still petted her
cell by cell, murmuring
along her legs and
neck, caressing her
with pale, endless arms.

Later, she thought often
of that blue boudoir,
pillow-soft and filled
with cascading light,
where together
they'd made a bell
that dumbly clanged
beneath the waves
and minutes lurched
like mountain goats.
She could still see
the quilted mosaics
that were fish
twitching spangles overhead,
still feel the ocean
inside and out, turning her
evolution around.

She thought of it miles
and fathoms away, often,
at odd moments: watching
the minnow snowflakes
dip against the windowframe,
holding a sponge
idly under tap-gush,
sinking her teeth
into the cleft
of a voluptuous peach.
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