Tuesday Poem: Paeon to Place by Lorine Niedecker

This is an excerpt from Lorine Niedecker's wonderful long poem 'Paeon to Place', which you can read in full here, courtesy of the Poetry Foundation.

'. . . I grew in green
slide and slant
      of shore and shade
thru weeds

Maples to swing from

Grew riding the river
      at home-pier
            Shelley could steer
as he read

I was the solitary plover
a pencil
      for a wing-bone
From the secret notes
I must tilt

upon the pressure
execute and adjust
      In us sea-air rhythm
“We live by the urgent wave
of the verse” . . . '

The Niedecker cabin, flooded in 1979.  Photo Jim Furley
Lorine Niedecker was a very unusual poet, living in a cabin on Black Hawk Island, Wisconsin, in the centre of marshland, in almost total seclusion, and is sometimes referred to as 'the Emily Dickinson of the 20th century'. She died in 1970 but her poetry has gained in reputation since her death because of its strong sense of connection between the poet and place, between humanity and the natural world it is part of. There's a good article here about Lorine Niedecker's new status as an 'ecopoet'.

The Tuesday Poets are an international group who try to post a poem every Tuesday and take it in turns to edit the main hub.  If you'd like to see what the other Tuesday Poets are posting, please click on this link to take you to the main website.


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