Leaflet on Wooing

By Lucie Brock-Broido b. 1956 Lucie Brock-Broido
Wanting is reposed and plump   
As the hands of a Romanov child

Folded in the doeskin sashes of her lap,   
Paused before the little war begins.

            This one will be guttural, this war.   
How is it possible to still be startled

As I am by the oblong silhouette of the coiling   
Index finger of a pending death.

No longer will
                        Wooing be the wondrous

Thing; instead, a homely domesticity, constant   
As a field of early rye and yarrow-light.

What one is fit to stand is not what one is   
Given, necessarily, and not this night.

Lucie Brock-Broido, “Leaflet on Wooing” from Trouble in Mind. Copyright © 2004 by Lucie Brock-Boido. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

Source: Trouble in Mind (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004)

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Poet Lucie Brock-Broido b. 1956

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, Death, Relationships, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Lucie  Brock-Broido


Lucie Brock-Broido was born in Pittsburgh, was educated at Johns Hopkins and Columbia University, and has taught at Bennington, Princeton, Harvard (where she was a Briggs-Copeland poet), and Columbia. She is the recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, as well as awards from the American Poetry Review and the Academy of American Arts and Letters.

In an interview with Carol Maso for BOMB magazine in . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Death, Relationships, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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