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An Anthology of Rain

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For this you may see no need,
You may think my aim
Dead set on something

Devoid of conceivable value:
An Anthology of  Rain,
A collection of voices

Telling someone somewhere
What it means to follow a drop
Traveling to its final place of rest.

But do consider this request
If you have pressed your nose
Of any shape against a window,

Odor of metal faint, persistent,
While a storm cast its cloak
Over the shoulder of every cloud

In sight. You are free to say
Whatever crosses your mind
When you look at the face of time

In the passing of one drop
Gathering speed, one drop
Chasing another, racing to reach

A fork in the path, lingering
Before making a detour to join
Another, fattening on the way

Until entering a rivulet
Running to the sill.
So please accept this invitation:

You are welcome to submit,
There is no limit to its limit,
Even the instructions are a breeze

As long as you include
Nothing about yourself
Except your name. Your address

Remains unnecessary, for the rain
Will find you — if you receive it
It receives you (whether or not

You contribute, a volume
Is sent). And when you lift
The collection you may hear,

By opening anywhere, a drop
And its story reappear
As air turns to water, water to air.

Source: Poetry (March 2017)
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An Anthology of Rain

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  • Born in Paterson, New Jersey, Phillis Levin is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of five poetry collections: Temples and Fields (University of Georgia Press, 1988), winner of the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award; The Afterimage (Copper Beech Press, 1995); Mercury (Penguin, 2001); May Day (Penguin, 2008); and Mr. Memory & Other Poems (Penguin, 2016). She is the editor of The Penguin Book of the Sonnet: 500 Years of a Classic Tradition in English (Penguin, 2001). Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Poetry magazine, Kenyon Review, the Nation, Paris Review, AGNI, Grand Street, the Yale Review, the New Republic, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Southwest Review, PN Review, Poetry London, and the Poetry Review (UK), and have been featured in three editions of The Best American Poetry as well as numerous other anthologies, including Poetry 180,...

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