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Little God Origami

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The number of corners in the soul can't
compare with the universe's dimensions folded
neatly into swans. In the soul's
space, one word on a thousand pieces
of paper the size of cookie fortunes falls
from the heavens. At last, the oracular
answer, you cry, pawing at the scraps that twirl
like seed-pod helicopters. Alas, the window
to your soul needs a good scrubbing, so
the letters doodle into indecipherables just
like every answer that has rained
down through history, and you realize, in
your little smog of thought that death
will simply be the cessation of asking, a thousand
cranes unfolding themselves and returning to the trees.

Source: Poetry

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This poem originally appeared in the March 2005 issue of Poetry magazine

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Little God Origami

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  • Stefi Weisburd’s The Wind-Up Gods (Black Lawrence Press, 2007) won the St. Lawrence Book Award. She has received a “Discovery”/The Nation prize, a Bread Loaf scholarship and a Lannan Foundation Writing Residency. Her collection for children, Barefoot: Poems for Naked Feet, was published by Wordsong in 2008. With degrees in physics, Weisburd has been a Congressional policy analyst, a science writer and an outreach coordinator for a nanoscience program at the University of New Mexico.

    As Charles Harper Webb explains, Weisburd’s scientific background informs her poetry: “Welcome to the world of The Wind-Up Gods, where Newtonian Girl struggles to maintain a few clockwork certainties in the face of quantum anarchy, and Stefi Weisburd finds post-Heisenberg salvation through irony, imagination, and the vivid language of these wild, brainy, and visceral poems.”

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