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Against Epiphany

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What god was it that would open
earth’s picture book and see the two
of us on a road, snowfields glittering
on every side and poplars bent like
the fingers of an old man clutching
what he loved about the sun?
Which one was it that would peer
into our thatched, white-washed
farmhouse, and see the fur, flies,
and shit-stained walls? Which one
laughed at the barbed wire fences,
the wall topped with broken glass?
Which of the many who came then,
gleaming and rimed in hard sunlight?
Which of those who bobbed like ice
along the winter shore? What did
we have that any god would want?
Quick, if you can find it, hide it.

Fred Marchant, “Against Epiphany” from The Looking House. Copyright © 2009 by Fred Marchant. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press, www.graywolfpress.org
Source: The Looking House (Graywolf Press, 2009)
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Against Epiphany

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  • Fred Marchant's most recent book of poetry, The Looking House (Graywolf Press, 2009) was named by Barnes & Noble Review as one of the five best books of poetry in 2009. The San Francisco Chronicle picked it as one of the ten best collections of poetry, and the Massachusetts Book Award committee listed as one of the “must reads” of the past year. Janette Currie, writing in Pleiades, has written that “Marchant’s great achievement in The Looking House is to create a new anti-war poetics out of seemingly disparate subjects and images.”
    Marchant is also the author of Tipping Point, winner of the 1993 Washington Prize in poetry, and Full Moon Boat (2000). A new and selected volume, House on Water, House in Air, was published in 2002.  He has co-translated (with Nguyen Ba Chung) From a Corner of My Yard, poetry by the Vietnamese poet Tran Dang...

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