Kalden's Story

By Nate Klug b. 1985 Nate Klug

Drepung, Tibet, 1958

So won a name in this place,   
handing off lath strips to a hammer's   
measure, seeing the passing girls' slits   
in roils of timber grain.

Mountains, barley, scaffold,   
dirt. I was sixteen. And hourly   
from the hoods of faraway bells   
monks emerging like hairless animals.

I was sixteen. What did I know   
of sovereignty, or the new soldiers   
by the gate, chinning their shotguns   
like violins? Nights, a tin roof

wind cracked flat; my sister,   
flushed with child, hushing a child.

Source: Poetry (September 2007).


This poem originally appeared in the September 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2007
 Nate  Klug


Nate Klug was born in Minnesota, grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and earned a BA in English at the University of Chicago and a Masters from Yale Divinity School. He is the author of Rude Woods (The Song Cave, 2013), a book-length adaptation of Virgil’s Eclogues, and Anyone (University of Chicago, 2015). In 2010 he was awarded a Ruth Lilly Fellowship by the Poetry Foundation. A UCC-Congregationalist minister, he has served . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Jobs & Working, Travels & Journeys, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Refrain, Persona

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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