Ars Poetica

Daphne by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon


Fear glistened
In the sweat
On my skin
Until it dried
And cracked
And darkened
My Father,
Save me!

In humid air
Hung there until
The brown bark
Of prayer
Encased me
This is
What passes
For safety
Now stillness
Settles on me
Like long vines
And silence
Entwines me

"Daphne" from Black Swan. Copyright 2002 by Lyrae Van-Clief Stefanon. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

In celebration of Ars Poetica (2010), Rachel Eliza Griffiths' exhibition of photographs of Cave Canem faculty and fellows, the Poetry Society of America is presenting a selection of her portraits, each one accompanied by a poem from a Cave Canem poet she has captured on film.

As the poet Nikky Finney remarks "Because of her gifted, mindful pressing private eye on us, we discover what we could never completely see before, all around us, could never completely find before, right there in full shadow and slated sun, not even with our own two eyes: All of every bit of who we are.

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