The Grizzly Den

Knowledge is Power

Poem-A-Day: Your Day Three Dose!

Posted by grizzlymedia on April 3, 2008


Are you reading the Poem of the Day? Check here each day, or check The Academy of American Poets website at for their Poem-a-Day. You can subscribe to receive it by email! Here is today’s poem by poet Jane Mead. Sadly, there is not a bio of Ms. Mead on the website, so here is some info for you, scooped from a Wake Forest University news article by Vanessa Willis in 2002. Apparently Ms. Mead is a mystery lady!

Jane Mead, formerly Wake Forest University’s poet-in-residence, won a 2002 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. The foundation annually awards the prestigious fellowships to support artists, scholars and scientists and their work. Past authors who have been Guggenheim Fellows include Eudora Welty, Langston Hughes and Vladimir Nabakov. Two collections of Mead’s poetry, House of Poured-Out Waters and The Lord and the General Din of the World, have been published. Mead previously won a grant from the Lannan Foundation in 1999, the Kathryn A. Morton Prize from Sarabande Books in 1995 and the Whiting Writer’s Award in 1992.

The Origin
by Jane Mead

of what happened is not in language—
of this much I am certain.
Six degrees south, six east—and you have it: the bird
with the blue feathers, the brown bird—
same white breasts, same scalyankles. The waves between us—
house light and transform motion
into the harboring of sounds in language.—Where there is newsprint
the fact of desire is turned from again—
and again. Just the sensethat what remains might well be held up—
later, as an ending.
Twice I have walked through this life—

once for nothing, once
for facts: fairy-shrimp in the vernal pool—
glassy-winged sharp-shooter

on the failing vines. Count me—
among the animals, their small
committed calls.—

Count me among
the living. My greatest desire—
to exist in a physical world.

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