What Is a Person

By Elizabeth Arnold Elizabeth Arnold
capable of feeling
while in contact with another?

I look at the red-tiled roofs outside,
at all the angles

facing the white-blue cloudless sky
like the creases in Bellini’s angel’s

silver-blue dress, Tintoretto’s white one
that’s practically transparent in his

Annunciazione at the San Rocco
— cloth complex as thought!

Then the bells start, flood the void.

Source: Poetry (May 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2012
 Elizabeth   Arnold


Elizabeth Arnold has published three books of poems, The Reef (1999), Civilization (2006), and Effacement (2010). A scholar as well as poet, Arnold earned her PhD at the University of Chicago. Researching the poet Mina Loy for her dissertation, she discovered the poet's lost novel, Insel. She edited the work, which was published by Black Sparrow Press in 1991. Arnold has received numerous awards for her work, including a Bunting . . .

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Poems by Elizabeth Arnold

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Music, Painting & Sculpture

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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