Talking Back to the Mad World

By Sarah C. Harwell Sarah C. Harwell
I will not tend. Or water,
pull, or yank,
I will not till, uproot,
fill up or spray.
The rain comes.
Or not. Plants: sun-fed,
moon-hopped, dirt-stuck.
Watch as flocks
of wild phlox
appear, disappear. My lazy,
garbagey magic
makes this nothing
I love
the tattered
camisole of
nothing. The world
runs its underbrush
course fed by
the nothing I give it.
Wars are fought.
Blood turns.
Dirt is a wide unruly room.

Sarah C. Harwell, “Talking Back to the Mad World” from Sit Down Traveler. Copyright © 2012 by Sarah C. Harwell. Reprinted by permission of Antilever Press.

Source: Sit Down Traveler (Antilever Press, 2012)

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Poet Sarah C. Harwell

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Activities, Gardening, Nature, Trees & Flowers, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Free Verse


Born in Nashville, poet Sarah C. Harwell earned a BA at the University of Toronto and an MLS and MFA at Syracuse University. She is the author of the collection Sit Down Traveler (2012) and, with Courtney Queeney and Farah Marklevits, Three New Poets (2006). In her poems, Harwell explores loss, intimacy, and mortality, often through the joys and dramas of motherhood and domestic rituals. In an interview with Sapling, Harwell . . .

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Poems by Sarah C. Harwell

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Gardening, Nature, Trees & Flowers, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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