1. Home
  2. Poetry Magazine
  3. Poems
  4. Precipice by Jill Alexander Essbaum
Precipice

Related Poem Content Details

The border
of a thing.

Its edge
or hem.

The selvage,
the skirt,

a perimeter’s
trim.

The blow
of daylight’s

end and
nighttime’s

beginning.
A fence

or a rim,
a margin,

a fringe.
And this:

the grim,
stingy

doorstep
where

the lapse
of passage

happens.
That slim

lip of land,
the liminal

verge
that slips

you past
your brink.

Where
and when

you
blink.

Source: Poetry (January 2011)

More from this issue

This poem originally appeared in the January 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

Precipice

Related Poem Content Details

  • Born in Bay City, Texas, poet and editor Jill Alexander Essbaum was educated at the University of Houston, the University of Texas, and the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest.
     
    Influenced by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Simon Armitage, and Sylvia Plath, Essbaum’s poems bring together sex, divinity, and wordplay, blithely working with received forms and displaying a nuanced attention to rhyme and meter. Speaking to this unusual combination of themes in an interview with Eratosphere, Essbaum observed, “Why the pairing of sexual and religious expression seems wrong to our post-modern American ears, I think, is because we’re all (no matter what we believe or don’t) direct inheritors of a Puritan heritage that disdains human physicality … in lieu of pursuits of the spirit alone.” In a Coldfront review of Necropolis, critic Rick Marlatt noted, “Known for their remarkable mix of eroticism and religiosity, Jill Alexander Essbaum’s poems vibrate with well-proportioned...

  • Poem Categorization

    If you disagree with this poem's categorization make a suggestion.
  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

Other Information