The Descent

By Fanny Howe b. 1940 Fanny Howe
The descent has deepened
the interior lengthened

designated ending

Blind

pulled down inside and then
shot up again

to see east via the plateglass
a moon a monsoon an ashram


I used time almost wantonly
in that bald but sensual sky

to give me gusts
and more measurement

not to snap the stars shut
but Joseph said
you really ought

to tender how you sail by eye
your soul is just a length of baby

Fanny Howe, "The Descent" from Gone. Copyright © 2003 by Fanny Howe.  Reprinted by permission of University of California Press.

Source: Gone (University of California Press, 2003)

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Poet Fanny Howe b. 1940

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Subjects Living, Growing Old, The Body, The Mind, Time & Brevity

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Fanny  Howe

Biography

Fanny Howe is the author of more than 20 books of poetry and prose. Howe grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and studied at Stanford University. “If someone is alone reading my poems, I hope it would be like reading someone’s notebook. A record. Of a place, beauty, difficulty. A familiar daily struggle,” Fanny Howe explained in a 2004 interview with the Kenyon Review. Indeed, more than a subject or theme, the process of . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Growing Old, The Body, The Mind, Time & Brevity

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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