The Moment When Your Name is Pronounced

By Forrest Gander b. 1956 Forrest Gander
This high up, the face
eroding; the red cedar slopes
over. An accident chooses a stranger.
Each rain unplugs roots
which thin out like a hand.   
Above the river, heat
lightning flicks silently
and the sound holds, coiled in air.   
Some nights you are here   
dangling a Valpolicella bottle,   
staring down at the flat water
that slides by with its mouth full of starlight.
It is always quiet
when we finish the wine.   
While you were a living man   
how many pictures were done   
of you. Serious as an angel,   
lacing up your boots. Ice   
blows into my fields.

Forrest Gander, “The Moment When Your Name Is Pronounced” from Rush to the Lake (Cambridge, AliceJames Books, 1988). Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Source: Rush to the Lake (1988)

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Poet Forrest Gander b. 1956

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Nature, Relationships, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Eating & Drinking, Landscapes & Pastorals, Activities

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Forrest  Gander

Biography

Born in California’s Mojave Desert, poet Forrest Gander grew up in Virginia and attended the College of William & Mary, where he majored in geology. After receiving an MA in literature from San Francisco State University, Gander moved to Mexico, then to Arkansas, where his poetry—informed by his knowledge of geology—turned its attention to landscape as foreground or source of action.

Gander’s books of poetry include Eye Against . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Relationships, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Eating & Drinking, Landscapes & Pastorals, Activities

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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