Houdini

By Kay Ryan b. 1945 Kay Ryan
Each escape
involved some art,
some hokum, and
at least a brief
incomprehensible
exchange between
the man and metal
during which the
chains were not
so much broken
as he and they
blended. At the
end of each such   
mix he had to
extract himself. It
Was the hardest
part to get right
routinely: breaking
back into the   
same Houdini.

Used by permission of the author.

Source: Poetry (November 2004).

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2004 issue of Poetry magazine

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November 2004
 Kay  Ryan

Biography

Born in California in 1945 and acknowledged as one of the most original voices in the contemporary landscape, Kay Ryan is the author of several books of poetry, including Flamingo Watching (2006), The Niagara River (2005), and Say Uncle (2000). Her book The Best of It: New and Selected Poems (2010) won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Ryan's tightly compressed, rhythmically dense poetry is often compared to that of Emily . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, The Body, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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