Requiem for a Nest

By Wanda Coleman 1946–2013 Wanda Coleman
the winged thang built her dream palace
amid the fine green eyes of a sheltering bough
she did not know it was urban turf
disguised as serenely delusionally rural
nor did she know the neighborhood was rife
with slant-mawed felines and those long-taloned
swoopers of prey. she was ignorant of the acidity & oil
that slowly polluted the earth, and was never
to detect the serpent coiled one strong limb below

following her nature she flitted and dove
for whatever blades twigs and mud
could be found under the humming blue
and created a hatchery for her spawn
not knowing all were doomed

Wanda Coleman, “Requiem for a Nest” from Ostinato Vamps. Copyright © 2003. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, www.pitt.edu/~press/. Used by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.

Source: Ostinato Vamps (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Wanda Coleman 1946–2013

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Subjects Living, Parenthood, Disappointment & Failure, Death, Relationships, Home Life, Nature, Animals

 Wanda  Coleman

Biography

Poet and writer Wanda Coleman was a blatantly humanist artist who won much critical acclaim for her unusually prescient and often innovative work, but who struggled to make a living from her craft. In discussing “my life in poetry,” More magazine, April 2005, Camille Paglia said of Coleman: “She’s not as central as she should be. Her language jumps off the page.” With twelve books of collected writings published by the small . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, Disappointment & Failure, Death, Relationships, Home Life, Nature, Animals

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.