Wave If You Can See Me

Wave If You Can See Me

by Susan Ludvigson
Wave If You Can See Me

Wave If You Can See Me

by Susan Ludvigson


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The running theme through the collection Wave as If You Can See Me is the progression of illnesses resulting in the death of the poet’s husband, and fiction writer Scott Ely, from the effects of Agent Orange in Vietnam. Interspersed with these poems are her own explorations — in part distraction from the pain of watching her husband decline, in part a long-held desire into painting.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597098632
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 10/13/2020
Pages: 72
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Susan Ludvigson has published ten collections of poems, most with LSU Press. She has received Guggenheim, Rockefeller, NEA, Fulbright, and Witter-Bynner fellowships as well as North and South Carolina Fellowships. She represented the US at writers’ meetings in Belgium, Canada, France, and the former Yugoslavia. Journal publications include the Atlantic Monthly, the Nation, Poetry, Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, and Five Points. Now Professor Emerita at Winthrop University, she also served as poet-in-residence at the University of South Carolina and Appalachian State University. The Library of Congress recorded a reading of her poems in 1995. She is the former director of the Lena Miles-Wever Todd Poetry series. Ludvigson lives in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Read an Excerpt

From “I Want to Say Something”
. . .

This is the way I picture the universe,

an infinity of stitches, each somehow entwined

with whatever it is that makes a whole, but the pattern

impenetrable and earth herself a miniscule morsel of frizz

in an ever-expanding sleeve, the decorative whorl we’ve seen

in photos from our moon likely invisible

to anyone else in the cosmos. Each particle

of murderer, priest, child, or each extinct horse

and tortoise and bone we can’t identify, linked.

From “How It Can Happen”:
An old man appears where I’m staying,

knowing everything. He is shaking with fear.

Someone gives me instructions.

The street is dark. Shadows

and other people’s dogs. We never thought

things would go this far.

We always expected, unreasonably, to escape.

Table of Contents

Lighting the Spirit 9


From the Cabin's Porch, Overlooking the Edisto River, April 13

Woman at the Window 14

How It Can Happen 15

Mythologies 16

Remote Viewing 18

At Night When the Music Comes 19

Closing In 20


From the Window, the Marina 23

Darker Than Before 24

Always Paris 25

Ghost Animals 26

I Want to Say Something 27

I Am Trying to Tell You Something 28

In the Country of Birds and Wild Animals 30

Moving Toward the Margins 31


Goethe at the Window of His Room in Rome 35

We Learn How the Brain Can Be Tricked 36

After Your Death 38

Geel 39

Nudes 40

What Can I Possibly Complain Of 41

Grace 42

Reviewing the Latest Book of a Poet Whose Work I Once Loved 44


The Unattainable 49

Interior with Woman Sewing, 1820s 50

Nightshirt Sonata 52

The Little Boat Slips Out to Sea 53

Too Late 54

Your Death Did Not Sneak Up 55

The Seven Villages 56

A Christmas of Cockatiels 58

You Could Be Drinking Faulkner's Bourbon 59

Begin with Water Crystals 60

Prism 62

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