Bait Goat

By Kay Ryan b. 1945 Kay Ryan
There is a
distance where
magnets pull,
we feel, having
held them   
back. Likewise
there is a
distance where
words attract.
Set one out
like a bait goat   
and wait and   
seven others
will approach.
But watch out:
roving packs can
pull your word
away. You   
find your stake   
yanked and some   
rough bunch
to thank.

Source: Poetry (September 2008).

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This poem originally appeared in the September 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2008
 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 Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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