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When I Was In Love and Out of All Else

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“It must be awful,” she said to the dog locked in it
as she left the kitchen that wasn’t hers, closing its door,
to head up the stairs with every good thing she could find
to eat in her arms

                            (to eat in her arms—O Katherine!)

                                          “not to have any arms.”


Source: Poetry (July/August 2011)

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This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

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When I Was In Love and Out of All Else

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  • Liz Waldner grew up in rural Mississippi and earned a BA in mathematics and philosophy at St. John’s College and an MFA at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Her first book of poetry, Homing Devices (1998), came after an 18-year silence; since then, Waldner has published prolifically. Her recent books include A Point Is That Which Has No Part (2000), which won both the Iowa Poetry Prize and the James Laughlin Award, Self and Simulacra (2001), Dark Would (the missing person) (2002), Trust (2009), and Play (2009).
     
    Waldner’s work is known for its formal experimentation, reliance on quotation and pastiche, and often playful rhyme schemes. Using long titles, made-up words, and expansive proselike sentences that change topic quickly and constantly, Waldner’s verse, according to poet-critic Stephen Burt, “pays constant homage to the delights of the senses; beside her, most similarly difficult present-day poets seem arid, theoretical, no fun.”

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