Scallop Song

By Anne Waldman b. 1945 Anne Waldman
I wore a garland of the briar that put me now in awe   

I wore a garland of the brain that was whole   

It commanded me, done babbling

And I no more blabbed, spare no lie

Tell womanhood she shake off pity

Tell the man to give up tumult for the while   

To wonder at the sight of baby's beauty

Ne let the monsters fray us with things that not be   

From a high tower poem issuing

Everything run along in creation till I end the song   

Ne none fit for so wild beasts

Ne none so joyous, ne none no give no lie

Tell old woes to leave off here:

I sing this into a scallop shell with face of a pearl   

& leave all sorrow bye & bye.

Anne Waldman, “Scallop Song” from Helping the Dreamer: Selected Poems, 1966-1988. Copyright © 1989 by Anne Waldman. Reprinted with the permission of Coffee House Press, Minneapolis,

Source: Helping the Dreamer: Selected Poems 1966-1988 (Coffee House Press, 1989)

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Poet Anne Waldman b. 1945

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School (2nd Generation)

Subjects Birth & Birthdays, Living, Parenthood

Occasions Birth

 Anne  Waldman


The author of more than 40 collections of poetry and poetics, Anne Waldman is an active member of the Outrider experimental poetry movement, and has been connected to the Beat movement and the second generation of the New York School. Her publications include Fast Speaking Woman (1975), Marriage: A Sentence (2000), and the multi-volume Iovis project (1992, 1993, 1997).

Her work as a cultural activist and her practice of Tibetan . . .

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SUBJECT Birth & Birthdays, Living, Parenthood

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School (2nd Generation)

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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