Jan/Feb 2015 • Vol. XXXVII No. 1 Poetry |

In This Saying

i There is a way to end books; the gathered papers, their weighty gift—the clean parade of words in columns of paragraphs and in columns of images—the tidiness of things— and numbered, they form the thing you have labored over for years. To end a book, you tie a blue ribbon around the heft, make a bow, kiss it. ii The way to end the year of cataclysms is to find a piece of land by water, where old boats rot at the edges, and the place smells of ancient things, sulfur, salt, rotting fish, and the deep musk of mud and grass. To then sit on a moving jetty, rocking against the universe's pulse, and there wait for the moon. iii To end this way alone is to end with the hollow melancholy of loss and regret. Better to end with the voice of your woman— for you will need that voice, ordinary as rain, talking your name. Perhaps it is the intrusion of her scent filling the air, or the cool of her touch slick with tomato pulp and herbs. iv I k

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Kwame Dawes is the author of numerous books of poetry and other books of fiction, criticism, and essays. His most recent collection, UnHistory, was cowritten with John Kinsella (Peepal Tree Press, 2022). Dawes is a George W. Holmes University Professor of English and the Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner. He teaches in the Pacific University MFA Program and is the series editor of the African Poetry Book Series, director of the African Poetry Book Fund, and Artistic Director of the Calabash International Literary Festival. He is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Dawes is the winner of the prestigious Windham Campbell Prize for Poetry and was a finalist for the 2022 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. In 2022, Dawes was awarded the Order of Distinction, Commander class, by the Government of Jamaica.

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i There is a way to end books; the gathered papers, their weighty gift—the clean parade of words in columns of paragraphs and in columns of images—the tidiness of things— […]

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i There is a way to end books; the gathered papers, their weighty gift—the clean parade of words in columns of paragraphs and in columns of images—the tidiness of things— […]

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