Audubon at Oakley Plantation

By Rachel Richardson Rachel Richardson
I need them true to life
and so I shoot them,
as many as fill the field at dawn,
and then fix wires
to prop them as if feeding their young
or bending to the river.
Why make a little book
when they exist life-sized,
can be etched to stand high as my hip?
Often have I wished
I had eight pairs of hands to hold them,
and another body for the gun.

Rachel Richardson, “Audubon at Oakley Plantation” from Copperhead. Copyright © 2011 by Rachel Richardson. Reprinted by permission of Carnegie Mellon University Press.

Source: Copperhead (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2011)

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Poet Rachel Richardson

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Nature, Animals, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Rachel   Richardson


Poet Rachel Richardson was born and raised in Berkeley, California. She earned a BA at Dartmouth College, an MFA at the University of Michigan, and an MA in folklore at the University of North Carolina.
The author of the poetry collection Copperhead (2011), Richardson’s poetry investigates the disjunctions of remembered and recorded history. Discussing the overlap between her method of poetic composition and her graduate . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Animals, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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