Begin Again: Collected Poems
Begin Again: Collected Poems
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The collected poems--some never previously published--of one of our best-loved, most respected authors.
Combining Grace Paley's four previous collections and new unpublished work, Begin Again traces the career of this direct, attentive, never predictable poet. Whether she describes the vicissitudes and pleasures of life in New York City or the hard beauty of her adoptive rural Vermont, whether she celebrates the blessings of friendship or protests against social injustice, her poems brim with the compassion and tough good humor that have made her stories and essays famous.
political modifiers probably restless waiting for the wrong move is this the dream of an old word person or the intervention of reality furious because of all that optimism which was often gallant useful in family life fatal only to others or is it because the time rose up on its hind legs just as the air cleared changed directions took all the maps in its teeth could you have believed that this system of ours called capitalism having chewed on all those poor
finds equilibrium in steady agony the man says mother when I ask will you help me to die In the morning the body itself becomes impatient with torment’s steadfastness its refusal to make room for that other idea memory pain absorbs the street mother teacher friend sky insatiable pain leaving only the work of breath its stubborn hopeless history As in the storm of war the body of the man which was good is defeated the disease which is
Nonviolent Action begins there Also St. Barnabas House which shelters abandoned children And on the corner of Mott Street Bob Nichols is making a playground single-handed two mountains an iron tower from which the cliffs of Houston Street can be observed a maple glade a ship at sea War The boys from St. Bernard’s and the boys from Our Lady of Pompeii converge on the corner of Bleecker and Bank There is a grinding of snowballs and a creaking of ice The name of our Lord is
correctly in their notebooks maybe because the word rose is in it My son is happy Now spell sky For this simple word the children turn their eyes down and away doesn’t he know the city has been quarreling with the sky all of their lives Well, he says Spell home he’s a little frightened to ask this of them What? They laugh they can’t hear him say What’s so funny? they jump up out of their seats laughing My son says hopefully It’s three o’clock but they
see it they went in over their heads He says greed greed time nothing is happening fast enough My Father at 89 His brain simplified itself saddening everyone but he asked us children don’t you remember my dog Mars who met me on the road when I came home lonesome and singing walking from the Czar’s prison One Day I Decided One day I decided to not grow any older lots of luck I said to myself (my joking self) then I looked up at the sky which is