Against Which

By Michael Ryan b. 1946 Michael Ryan
habit smacks
its dull skull
like a stuck bull
in a brick stall

and my version
of what I know
is like eye surgery
with a backhoe

on grace
so much beyond
my pitiful gray
sponge of a brain

I'd not believe it exists
except for such
doses of felicity
as this.

Source: Poetry (November 2007).


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

November 2007
 Michael  Ryan


Poet and memoirist Michael Ryan was born in St Louis, Missouri. He studied at the University of Notre Dame and Claremont Graduate School, and earned an MFA and PhD from the University of Iowa. Ryan’s first volume, Threats Instead of Trees (1974), won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. His second collection, In Winter (1981), was selected by Louise Glück for the National Poetry Series. God Hunger (1989) won the Lenore . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Philosophy, Sciences, Humor & Satire

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.