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Ghost, Fountain

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— Gaetano Donizetti, “Lucia di Lammermoor”

                 Be remote
A while from malice and from murdering.
— Gwendolyn Brooks

water this fountain
where I am yoked

sun-break he holds
you how once I

this secret dark
dagger my body

rip off the collar
your cage don’t wait

my neck his breath
these woods this water

my waist his ring
his grip blood sister

Source: Poetry (June 2017)

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of Poetry magazine

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Ghost, Fountain

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  • Image of Elise Paschen

    Poet and editor Elise Paschen was born and raised in Chicago. She earned a BA at Harvard University, where she won the Lloyd McKim Garrison Medal and the Joan Grey Untermeyer Poetry Prize, and went on to receive a PhD in 20th century British and American Literature at Oxford University with a dissertation on the manuscripts of poet William Butler Yeats. During her time at Oxford she also co-founded Oxford Poetry.

    Influenced by the work of both Yeats and Elizabeth Bishop, Paschen’s poems often engage the intersection of the mythic and the domestic. As the daughter of Osage prima ballerina Maria Tallchief, Paschen has discussed the importance of “family romance” to her origins as a writer. In an interview with the Valparaiso Poetry Review, she noted, “It is a myth I attempt to fathom and understand. As an only child, I often discovered refuge in the world of the imagination …...

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