Fall 2005 • Vol. XXVII No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 2005 |

Dithyramb and Lamentation

Its walls were breached; the people groan… In its boulevards, where feasts were celebrated, scattered they lay… What power have we now against the deluge? —Lamentation on Ur I. PHOTO OF A BEHEADING, CHINA, C. 1900 A problem of technique: the moment of death arriving too fast to capture, blood-spurt, & the ax in upswing. So instead we have aftermath, the parted lips kissing cobbles, the hair flaring back, the instant missed by half a second. The vigil of astonishment, the crowd that parted to admit the cowl & imperious tripod— lugged by mulecart from Shanghai—of some anonymous Scotsman, working the shutter in cool frenzy. The torso kowtows toward the pavement & rejoins its head. Beneath his hood the Scotsman s

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David Wojahn’s most recent collection of poetry, For the Scribe, appeared from the Pitt Poetry Series in 2017. His previous collection, World Tree (Pittsburgh, 2011), was the winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. He teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University and in the low-residency MFA in Writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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By David Wojahn

Its walls were breached; the people groan… In its boulevards, where feasts were celebrated, scattered they lay… What power have we now against the deluge? —Lamentation on Ur I. PHOTO […]

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