Peripheries

By Ruth Stone 1915–2011 Ruth Stone
This circle holding the afternoon sky is a lake
For summer business measured in stacked pairs
Of peeling oars whose dinghies all ship water.
Beside it on the trampled grass a carrousel shakes
And turns on an Old World instrument
The plink and plank and tinkle of a tune
Of plunging horses in fresh habiliment.
We catch the reins of enamel Pegasus
And lift the child until she is astride
A purple beast, where, wrapping infant arms
About his neck of wood, she whirls in space
And gallops off upon the turning wheel.
The horse climbs steadily the silver pole
Where cherubs hang, then slides toward spinning earth;
She sees the moving heaven of winged babes;
Rising to meet them, rising, she returns
To where our faces, staring in at hers,
Fixed, while her orbit whirls and sunlight burns,
Recede to artifact as her vision blurs.


Ruth Stone, “Peripheries.” Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Source: In An Iridescent Time (1959)

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Poet Ruth Stone 1915–2011

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Mythology & Folklore

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Ruth  Stone

Biography

Poet Ruth Stone was born in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1915 and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She lived in a rural farmhouse in Vermont for much of her life and received widespread recognition relatively late with the publication of Ordinary Words (1999). The book won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was soon followed by other award-winning collections, including In the Next Galaxy (2002), winner . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Mythology & Folklore

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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