Uninvited Reader

By A. F. Moritz b. 1947
She notes in the poem she's reading where the disembodied
voice speaking encounters "an ugly old woman"
just momentarily, in part of a single line, in one
of the many long corridors and sharp turnings of the poem,
so that she's quickly lost to view. That's me, she thinks,
I'm an ugly old woman, I who sit here reading this poem
and its ugly old woman phrase and the poet, when he stumbled
over her splayed, swollen legs, registered her presence,
her inheritance, her baggage of limitations-ugly, old,
woman-but never knew, couldn't, because who could
know, who can stop and know her ... And this reader keeps
thinking, loving, understanding, trapped in her eye
following the voice on and on while somewhere back in the poem
in a blank passage an ugly old woman sits against a wall.

Albert Frank Moritz, "Uninvited Reader" from Conflicting Desire. Copyright © 2000 by Albert Frank Moritz.  Reprinted with the permission of Ekstasis Editions.

Source: Conflicting Desire (Ekstasis Editions, 2000)

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Poet A. F. Moritz b. 1947


Subjects Growing Old, Nature, Arts & Sciences, Living, The Body, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 A. F. Moritz


A.F. Moritz (Albert F. Moritz) is the author of more than 15 books of poetry; he has received the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Relit Award (for Night Street Repairs, named the best book of poetry published in Canada in 2005), an Ingram Merrill Fellowship, and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation. A Canadian citizen, Moritz was born in Ohio and moved to Canada in . . .

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SUBJECT Growing Old, Nature, Arts & Sciences, Living, The Body, Poetry & Poets


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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