Value Added

By Stephen Sandy b. 1934 Stephen Sandy
No one knew what the stones like squatting frogs
signified. There they were, fuming in rows, out
of the ground; every critic had his explanation
or hers. But—we had to remember—they
came to nothing, every one; those large stones
out of the earth served the systems
of those who considered them, as explaining
something about the past it was important
for the explainer to explain. And yet
no one had any idea truly; there was no
basis in fact for any view of them, and
they remained like their origins—or like
smiling Olmec babies, sweet but ominous figures
come from the earth to reproach us, almost
cheerfully, for our ignorance—a mystery, just
as the probe of our feelings came up with nothing.

Stephen Sandy, “Value Added” from Black Box. Copyright © 1999 by Stephen Sandy. Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press.

Source: Black Box (Louisiana State University Press, 1999)

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Poet Stephen Sandy b. 1934

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Nature, Arts & Sciences, Painting & Sculpture

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Quatrain

 Stephen  Sandy


Stephen Sandy studied poetry with Robert Lowell and Archibald MacLeish, earned a PhD from Harvard University, and traveled to Japan on a Fulbright Visiting Lectureship. He is the author of more than a half dozen collections of poetry and has been honored with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Council on the Arts, and the Ingram Merrill Foundation.

Stephen Sandy’s collections include Riding to . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Arts & Sciences, Painting & Sculpture

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Quatrain

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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