Of Human Bodies

By Norma Cole b. 1945 Norma Cole
Here the subject thinks “there could be flowers” or “the water was a bit disturbed when the ring fell in.” All that, painted from said things, pleases it. That explains all things except for Ovid’s exile which we will probably never understand. That adds to our sense of fragility, confirms the order in which we read. You still have the right to bear arms, “thing and joy,” the anxious doubt that was once written about.

   There are several versions of the story where she is transformed into a swallow, flies around a pillar.
 
   And do you find the rhyme? It originally meant spoken, the sentence, but spoken. Flight, interchangeable with fate. As for myself, I can’t begin to approach the woods with it. The words of its condition.
 

Norma Cole, "Of Human Bodies" from Where Shadows Will, City Lights Spotlight No. 1. Copyright © 2009 by Norma Cole.  Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books.

Source: Where Shadows Will (City Lights Books, 2009)

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Poet Norma Cole b. 1945

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Poetry & Poets, Language & Linguistics, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

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Biography

Norma Cole is a poet, painter, and translator. She was born in Toronto, Canada, and attended the University of Toronto for her BA in Modern Languages and MA in French. Her translation works include Danielle Collobert’s Journals (1989), Anne Portugal’s Nude (2001), and Fouad Gabriel Naffah’s The Spirit God and the Properities Of Nitrogen (2004). She has also edited and translated Crosscut Universe: Writing on Writing from France . . .

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Poetry & Poets, Language & Linguistics, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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