Paired Things

By Kay Ryan b. 1945 Kay Ryan
Who, who had only seen wings,
could extrapolate the
skinny sticks of things
birds use for land,
the backward way they bend,
the silly way they stand?
And who, only studying
birdtracks in the sand,
could think those little forks
had decamped on the wind?
So many paired things seem odd.
Who ever would have dreamed
the broad winged raven of despair
would quit the air and go
bandylegged upon the ground,
a common crow?

"Paired Things" from Flamingo Watching © 1994 by Kay Ryan. Used by permission of Copper Beech Press.

Source: Flamingo Watching (Copper Beech Press, 1994)

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Poet Kay Ryan b. 1945

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Nature, Relationships, Pets, Animals

 Kay  Ryan

Biography

Born in California in 1945 and acknowledged as one of the most original voices in the contemporary landscape, Kay Ryan is the author of several books of poetry, including Flamingo Watching (2006), The Niagara River (2005), and Say Uncle (2000). Her book The Best of It: New and Selected Poems (2010) won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Ryan's tightly compressed, rhythmically dense poetry is often compared to that of Emily . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Relationships, Pets, Animals

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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