Hunger Moon

By Jane Cooper 1924–2007 Jane Cooper
The last full moon of February
stalks the fields; barbed wire casts a shadow.
Rising slowly, a beam moved toward the west
stealthily changing position
until now, in the small hours, across the snow
it advances on my pillow
to wake me, not rudely like the sun
but with the cocked gun of silence.
I am alone in a vast room
where a vain woman once slept.
The moon, in pale buckskins, crouches
on guard beside her bed.
Slowly the light wanes, the snow will melt
and all the fences thrum in the spring breeze
but not until that sleeper, trapped
in my body, turns and turns.

Jane Cooper, "Hunger Moon" from The Flashboat: Poems Collected and Reclaimed. Copyright © 2000 by Jane Cooper.  Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Source: The Flashboat: Poems Collected and Reclaimed (W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 2000)

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Poet Jane Cooper 1924–2007

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, The Body, Time & Brevity, Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Winter


Poet Jane Cooper has been grouped with other writers of her generation: those who "came of age" during the World War II years. Writing of the constraints placed on both her individuality and her art during the repressive decade that followed the boys' return from war and women's return to the kitchens of America in an essay first published in 1974 and included in 1993's Scaffolding: Selected Poems, "The women poets I read about . . .

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Poems by Jane Cooper

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SUBJECT Living, The Body, Time & Brevity, Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Winter

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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