Fall 1979 • Vol. I No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 1979 |

Wordhoard

The dragon splays her belly on the gold, Gross hoarder, hot-eyed miser, Holding all the earth can give to hold And none the wiser. Dumbness deadness darkness is your nest. Brooding there, fierce booby, No fire's enough, not even in your breast, To hatch a ruby! Why keep such glory in the glowering dark, Pent and unspent in earth? Give me one coin, one diamond-spark, One kingdom's worth! I will not give a single pearl, says she, Stretching a switchblade leg. The one I gave would prove to be My own, my Egg. So filch your treasures frightened and alone, Pickpocket, miserable thief, The anger-opal and the honor-stone, The gold of grief, The joy-star and the emerald despair. Take them up to glitter in the sun, Bright and worthless; earthfast in my lair I keep that one.

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Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018) was the author of numerous novels, volumes of short stories, collections of essays, books for children, volumes of poetry and translation, and received many honors and awards including Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award, PEN-Malamud.

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By Ursula K. Le Guin

The dragon splays her belly on the gold, Gross hoarder, hot-eyed miser, Holding all the earth can give to hold And none the wiser. Dumbness deadness darkness is your nest. […]

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