Summer 1987 • Vol. IX No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 1987 |

The Tables Freed

The presence of real objects is a nightmare for me. I have always overturned objects. A chair or table turned upside down gives me peace and satisfaction.                                   Marc Chagall A companionable flood can make things wobble. The sober table at last enjoys the bubbles locked in her grain, straining together good as Egyptians to shift the predictable plane. Dense plates and books slide off and dive or bloat but she floats, a legged boat nosing the helpless stationaries, the bolted basin, the metal reliquaries, in short the nouns. All over town tables are bumping out of doors, negotiating streets and beginning to meet at water corners like packs of mustangs, blue red yellow stencilled enlivened by swells as wild horses are stretched liquid and elegant by hills.

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Kay Ryan became the sixteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2008. Raised in the San Joaquin Valley and Mojave Desert, Ryan spent her professional career teaching English at College of Marin in Kentfield, California and writing poems. Her collections have earned numerous awards, including a Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and several Pushcart Prizes. Her books include Dragon Acts to Dragon Ends (1983), Strangely Marked Metal (1985), Elephant Rocks (1996) and Say Uncle (2000).

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The presence of real objects is a nightmare for me. I have always overturned objects. A chair or table turned upside down gives me peace and satisfaction.                                   Marc Chagall A […]

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