Prayer to Fix the Affections

By Gladys Cardiff b. 1942 Gladys Cardiff
O Ancient One,
your web hangs down from the pines.
I am of the Owl clan.
I have been to water,
my dress is of red clay.
He moves at the edge of you,
binds us with your threads.
The center of his soul shall be my soul’s center.
Our paths shall be white forever.
Where we move the paths from every direction
shall recognize each other.
We are one never to be parted.

Gladys Cardiff, “Prayer to Fix the Affections” from To Frighten a Storm. Copyright © 1976 by Gladys Cardiff. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.

Source: To Frighten a Storm (Copper Canyon Press, 1976)

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Poet Gladys Cardiff b. 1942

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Relationships, Nature, Religion, Other Religions, The Spiritual


A member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, Gladys Cardiff was born in Browning, Montana, and grew up in Seattle, Washington. Her mother was of Irish and Welsh descent, her father a member of the Owl clan of the North Carolina Cherokee. Cardiff received an MFA from the University of Washington, where she studied with the poet Theodore Roethke, and a PhD in literature from Western Michigan University.
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Poems by Gladys Cardiff

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Nature, Religion, Other Religions, The Spiritual

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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