Ars Poetica

Through An Opening by Carl Phillips

Through An Opening

It was as if they'd stepped into the head
of a wind god,and gotten trapped there and,
within captivity, made a space they could

sometimes recognize. Soon it looked
like home: chicken hawk; first stars;
a golden steeple. . . Almost, they could believe
each word of it,

the wordless parts also,
the particular riot—and beauty, for they did
admit as much—of a field on fire, the wind
tumbling through the god's hair, here and

there lifting it—so a kind of life, still—
They would make
a music of it. Singing
Hush now—why not hush? You're mine, coyote.

Carl Phillips' poem originally appeared in
A Public Space. Reprinted with the permission of the author. All Rights Reserved.

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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