It Would

By Alice Notley b. 1945 Alice Notley
it would be that
but only if I knew how
            Could something like   
      that get lost?    no only   
         a little a little lost

      but if only I remember   
      how I mean she or I
         oh a freight train goes by   
    & they always do & did
             I mean a real one too   
         that I’m not on & am it   
                very seriously

         in this serious love world   
       that one
      where something oddly music   
            will pass through your   
                  and it will be me   
             sweet me

Alice Notley, “It Would” from Selected Poems (Talisman House, 1993). Copyright © 1993 by Alice Notley. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Source: Selected Poems (1993)

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Poet Alice Notley b. 1945

SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School (2nd Generation)

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Alice  Notley


Alice Notley has become one of America’s greatest living poets. She has long written in narrative and epic and genre-bending modes to discover new ways to explore the nature of the self and the social and cultural importance of disobedience. The artist Rudy Burckhardt once wrote that Notley may be “our present-day Homer.” 

Notley was born in Arizona and grew up in Needles, California. After earning her BA from Barnard College and . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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