Reverie in Open Air

By Rita Dove b. 1952 Rita Dove
I acknowledge my status as a stranger:   
Inappropriate clothes, odd habits   
Out of sync with wasp and wren.   
I admit I don’t know how   
To sit still or move without purpose.   
I prefer books to moonlight, statuary to trees.   

But this lawn has been leveled for looking,   
So I kick off my sandals and walk its cool green.   
Who claims we’re mere muscle and fluids?   
My feet are the primitives here.   
As for the rest—ah, the air now   
Is a tonic of absence, bearing nothing   
But news of a breeze.

Source: Poetry (March 2003).

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This poem originally appeared in the March 2003 issue of Poetry magazine

March 2003
 Rita  Dove

Biography

Rita Dove was born in Akron, Ohio in 1952, the daughter of one of the first black chemists in the tire industry. Dove was encouraged to read widely by her parents, and excelled in school. She was named a Presidential Scholar, one of the top one hundred high-school graduates in the country and attended Miami University in Ohio as a National Merit Scholar. After graduating, Dove received a Fulbright to study at the University of . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Pastoral, Metaphor

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