San Sepolcro

By Jorie Graham b. 1950 Jorie Graham
In this blue light
       I can take you there,
snow having made me
       a world of bone   
seen through to. This
       is my house,

my section of Etruscan
       wall, my neighbor’s   
lemontrees, and, just below
       the lower church,   
the airplane factory.
       A rooster

crows all day from mist
       outside the walls.   
There’s milk on the air,
       ice on the oily
lemonskins. How clean   
       the mind is,

holy grave. It is this girl
       by Piero
della Francesca, unbuttoning   
       her blue dress,
her mantle of weather,
       to go into

labor. Come, we can go in.   
       It is before
the birth of god. No one
       has risen yet
to the museums, to the assembly   

and wings—to the open air
       market. This is
what the living do: go in.
       It’s a long way.
And the dress keeps opening
       from eternity

to privacy, quickening.
       Inside, at the heart,
is tragedy, the present moment   
       forever stillborn,
but going in, each breath
       is a button

coming undone, something terribly   
finding all of the stops.

Jorie Graham, “San Sepolcro” from The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems, 1974-1994. Copyright © 1995 by Jorie Graham. Used with the permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Source: The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994 (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1995)

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Poet Jorie Graham b. 1950

Subjects Time & Brevity, Painting & Sculpture, Arts & Sciences, Living

 Jorie  Graham


One of the most celebrated poets of the American post-war generation, Jorie Graham is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Hybrids of Plants and Ghosts (1980), Erosion (1983), The End of Beauty (1987), Region of Unlikeness (1991), The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1992 (1995) winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, Never (2002), Sea Change (2008), and Place (2012), among others. Born in New . . .

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SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Painting & Sculpture, Arts & Sciences, Living

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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