[Throwing his life away,]

By Josephine Miles 1911–1985 Josephine Miles
Throwing his life away,
      He picks at and smells it.
      Done up. When did I do this up?
      I date its death to the time someone
      Said something.
      Back then.
      Everything else, all striving, making,
      Marrying, error,
      Is this old bird.

Pah! He throws it.
      As the long string lengthens
      Out of his hand,
      It begins unwinding
      The ligaments of his hand.

Josephine Miles, “[Throwing his life away,]” from Kinds of Affection. Copyright © 1967 by Josephine Miles. Reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.

Source: Kinds of Affection (Wesleyan University Press, 1967)

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Poet Josephine Miles 1911–1985


Subjects Social Commentaries, Life Choices

 Josephine  Miles


Lifelong California resident Josephine Miles distinguished herself as an educator, spending her entire academic career at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was the first woman to be tenured in the English department. She is remembered as the editor of anthologies and critical texts, as an author of books on poetic style and language, and as an award-winning poet who produced over a dozen books of poems. Her . . .

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SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Life Choices


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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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