Peacock Display

By David Wagoner b. 1926 David Wagoner
He approaches her, trailing his whole fortune,
Perfectly cocksure, and suddenly spreads
The huge fan of his tail for her amazement.

Each turquoise and purple, black-horned, walleyed quill
Comes quivering forward, an amphitheatric shell
For his most fortunate audience: her alone.

He plumes himself. He shakes his brassily gold
Wings and rump in a dance, lifting his claws
Stiff-legged under the great bulge of his breast.

And she strolls calmly away, pecking and pausing,
Not watching him, astonished to discover
All these seeds spread just for her in the dirt.

Reprinted from Best of Prairie Schooner: Fiction and Poetry, University of Nebraska Press, 2001, by permission of the author, whose most recent book is Good Morning and Good Night, University of Illinois Press, 2005.

Source: Best of Prairie Schooner: Fiction and Poetry (The University of Nebraska Press, 2001)

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Poet David Wagoner b. 1926

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Nature, Relationships, Animals

Poetic Terms Imagery, Free Verse, Metaphor

 David  Wagoner

Biography

David Wagoner is recognized as the leading poet of the Pacific Northwest, often compared to his early mentor Theodore Roethke, and highly praised for his skillful, insightful and serious body of work. He has won numerous prestigious literary awards including the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, and the Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and has twice been nominated for the National Book Award. The author of ten . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Relationships, Animals

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Poetic Terms Imagery, Free Verse, Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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