The River at Wolf

By Jean Valentine b. 1934 Jean Valentine
Coming east we left the animals
pelican beaver osprey muskrat and snake   
their hair and skin and feathers
their eyes in the dark: red and green.   
Your finger drawing my mouth.

Blessed are they who remember
that what they now have they once longed for.

A day a year ago last summer
God filled me with himself, like gold, inside,   
deeper inside than marrow.

This close to God this close to you:
walking into the river at Wolf with
the animals. The snake’s
green skin, lit from inside. Our second life.

“The River at Wolf” from The River at Wolf. Copyright © 1992 by Jean Valentine. Reprinted with the permission of Alice James Books.

Source: The River at Wolf (Alice James Books, 1992)

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Poet Jean Valentine b. 1934

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Animals, Relationships, Nature, Marriage & Companionship, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Love, Living, Religion, God & the Divine, Romantic Love

Holidays Valentine's Day

 Jean  Valentine

Biography

A longtime resident of New York City, Jean Valentine was named the State Poet of New York in 2008. Her first book of poems, Dream Barker and Other Poems, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award in 1965. Subsequent collections of poems include The River at Wolf (1992), Little Boat (2007), and Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965–2003, which won the National Book Award in 2004.

Her lyric poems delve into dream . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Animals, Relationships, Nature, Marriage & Companionship, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Love, Living, Religion, God & the Divine, Romantic Love

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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