Spring 2001 • Vol. XXIII No. 2 Cultures of Creativity: The Centennial Celebration of the Nobel PrizesApril 1, 2001 |

Birthday 8

From the Bengali.    May 6, 1940 Ripping the breast off my birthday today, news of the death, leave-taking of a friend, has arrived. My own fire-grief burns— enkindles. On evening's forehead, the sun places a blood-gleaming sign, changes the coming night's face to gold just as death dresses me with a burning flame at the western edge of life.   In this light can be seen seamless life where birth, death are one. Such splendor illuminates a deathlessness hidden in the everyday by our senses' limits.

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Wendy Barker's sixth collection of poems, One Blackbird at a Time (BkMk Press, 2015), received the John Ciardi Prize. Her fifth chapbook, Shimmer, was released from Glass Lyre Press in 2019. Among her other books are a selection of poems with accompanying essays, Poems' Progress (Absey & Co., 2002), and a selection of co-translations, Rabindranath Tagore: Final Poems (Braziller, 2001). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 2013. Recipient of NEA and Rockefeller fellowships, she holds the Pearl LeWinn Endowed Chair and is a Poet-in-Residence at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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