On Inhabiting an Orange

By Josephine Miles 1911–1985 Josephine Miles
All our roads go nowhere.
Maps are curled
To keep the pavement definitely
On the world.

All our footsteps, set to make
Metric advance,
Lapse into arcs in deference
To circumstance.

All our journeys nearing Space
Skirt it with care,
Shying at the distances
Present in air.

Blithely travel-stained and worn,
Erect and sure,
All our travels go forth,
Making down the roads of Earth
Endless detour.

Josephine Miles, “On Inhabiting an Orange” from Collected Poems. Copyright � 1983 by Josephine Miles. Reprinted with the permission of the University of Illinois Press.

Source: Poetry (September 1934).

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This poem originally appeared in the September 1934 issue of Poetry magazine

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September 1934
 Josephine  Miles

Biography

Lifelong California resident Josephine Miles distinguished herself as an educator, spending her entire academic career at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was the first woman to be tenured in the English department. She is remembered as the editor of anthologies and critical texts, as an author of books on poetic style and language, and as an award-winning poet who produced over a dozen books of poems. Her . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Nature, Philosophy, Landscapes & Pastorals

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Refrain

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