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

Last Poems 4

From the Bengali.    March 26, 1941 Sun-heat drones this afternoon alone. A glance at the empty chair— there is no comfort in its breast full of words of despair, weeping. Words of emptiness rise, compassion-filled, a meaning beyond understanding. As a lost dog looks up with sad eyes, the numb mind's pain questions, What has happened? Why it happened is unknown. Day and night, useless eyes search everywhere. The words of the chair grow more fragile, mournful. Silent pain of emptiness fills this loveless room.

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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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