No Sex for Priests

By Heather McHugh b. 1948 Heather McHugh
The horse in harness suffers;
he's not feeling up to snuff.
The feeler's sensate but the cook
pronounces lobsters tough.
The chain's too short: The dog's at pains
to reach a sheaf of shade. One half a squirrel's whirling there
upon the interstate. That rough around
the monkey's eye is cancer. Only God's
impervious—he's deaf and blind. But he's
not dumb: to answer for it all, his spokesmen
aren't allowed to come.

Heather McHugh, “No Sex for Priests” from The American Scholar (2006). Use by permission of the author.

Source: The American Scholar (University of Washington Press, 2006)

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Poet Heather McHugh b. 1948

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Nature, Animals, Religion, God & the Divine

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Heather  McHugh

Biography

Poet Heather McHugh’s work is noted for its rhetorical gestures, sharp puns and interest in the materials of language itself—her self-described determination is “to follow every surge of language, every scrap and flotsam.” Describing her work in the Boston Review, poet and critic Richard Howard alleged that “most of McHugh’s poems end in a spurt, as they proceed in a slather, of just such astonishment as is bestowed—afforded—by . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Animals, Religion, God & the Divine

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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