By Lisa Williams Lisa Williams
This is what poetry is (says the Road),
a laying down of uniform pattern
across a land you can't control
but which you think it best to flatten.
It's far from vivid. Look at the whole
flamboyant forest! Look at the paths
that can't be uttered by a mouth
and at the scattered arcs of light
more integral to this wide planet
than words will ever be. Your lines?
Like railroad tracks that cut the bracken,
bring something through, then disappear.
No one knows what speck was taken
or where it moved, and no one cares.

Source: Poetry (April 2001).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2001 issue of Poetry magazine

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April 2001
 Lisa  Williams


Lisa Williams is the author of Gazelle in the House (New Issues, 2014), Woman Reading to the Sea (W.W. Norton, 2008), winner of the 2007 Barnard Women Poets Prize, and The Hammered Dulcimer (Utah State University, 1998). Her poems also appeared in Best American Erotic Poems (Scribner, 2008).

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Poems by Lisa Williams

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Poetry & Poets, Arts & Sciences, Nature

Poetic Terms Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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