Jorie Graham

Jorie Graham, the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard, won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-94. Her other collections include The End of Beauty, P L A C E and Runaway.

Poem: ‘Time Frame’

Jorie Graham, 21 April 2022

The American experiment will end in 2030 she saidlooking into the cards,the charts, the stars, the mathematics of it, lookinginto our palms, into all of ourpalms, into the leaves at thebottom ofthe empty cup – searching its emptiness, its piles of deadbodies or is it grass at the edgeof the field where the abandoned radio is cracklingat the winter-stilled waters, the winter-killedwill of...

Poem: ‘On the Last Day’

Jorie Graham, 10 February 2022

I left the protectionof my plan & mythinking. I let my selfgo. Is this hope I

thought. Light fled.We have a worldto lose I thought.Summer fled. The

waters rose. How do I organisemyself now. How do Ifind sufficient

ignorance. How do I

not summariseanything. Is this mystery,this deceptively complexlack of design. No sum

towards which to strive. No general truth. None.How do I go...

Poem: ‘Are we’

Jorie Graham, 18 November 2021

Are we

extinct yet. Who ownsthe map. May Ilook. Where is myclaim. Is my history

verifiable. Have Iincluded the memoryof the animals. The animals’memories. Are they

still here. Are we

alone. Lookthe filamentsappear. Of memories. Whose? What wasland

like. Did it movethrough us. Something says nonstopare you hereare your ancestors

real do you have abody do you haveyr self inmind can you see yr

Poem: ‘Translation Rain’

Jorie Graham, 9 September 2021

I am writing this in code because I cannot speak or saythe thing. The thing which should be, or I so wishcould beplumbed fathomed disinterred from this silence, this ever thickeningsilence through which, once, the long thin stalks & stems, firstweaker weeds then branching &stiffening, steadying &suddenly sturdier –strong enough to carry the seen – the seeming...

Poem: ‘Cage’

Jorie Graham, 17 June 2021

They ask me why. They ask me againwhy. Why the last of. Why the last ofa time. See, it curls up in the doorway & isthe doorway. Then wind and snow and time – your only time –curl up in it. Then the howling. It’s sayingsee, here, in this doorway, look respectfully, it is yr cage. Saying here isyr openingthat cannot befilled, these holes where yr earsshould be, where yr...

The new volume of poems by my Harvard colleague Jorie Graham, in its US edition, bears on its jacket a detail from Vermeer’s The Astronomer, showing the hand of the astronomer as it...

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Accidents of Priority

John Redmond, 22 August 1996

Famous poems, like faces, are a particularly memorable kind of introduction to the person they conceal. Like other kinds of introduction, they are often what we remember a person for, or what we...

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