Eve Grubin – two poems

grubinYesterday Eve Grubin was due to give a talk at the British Library entitled “The Poetics of Reticence: Emily Dickinson and Her Contemporaries”. Unfortunately, owing to circumstances beyond her control, this lecture was cancelled.

Ms Grubin is an excellent poet in her own right and we have decided to print two of her poems which are readily available on her own site which readers may consult for further material (http://www.evegrubin.com/close.php).

It is not difficult to see why Eve Grubin is drawn to the poetry of Emily Dickinson: her own poetry is spiritual and mysterious and driven by minute observations, reflecting the great sensitivity of a life lived intensely, passionately.

We hope that in the not too distant future she will be able to return to the British Library to deliver her talk on Emily Dickinson and in the meantime we send her our best wishes.

Eve Grubin was born and raised in New York City. She was the Programs Director at The Poetry Society of America for five years (2001-2006). She divides her time between London and New York.


When the Light Begins to Close

When the light begins to close, just before it closes,
I am looking out the window or walking beside buildings,

a wave of uncertainty—suffocating, numinous—rushes my throat,
quick, unmistakable.

Suddenly I am my name:
standing in the garden, the fruit eaten, seeds burning the dust.

Loneliness, slanted cold enters the air around my neck.

Eve looks at the wet eyes of the animals, once soft and brown. The rotation of the earth moves through her, me.

Holiness, a slanted cold
sifts the spaces between my fingers.

At end of day, light contracts: I stare into trees and lamps, the gray
sidewalk, shadows walking into shadows. What is it

about the transition between sun and dark, hope and gloaming,
that constricts, elates?

*

A Boat of Letters

arrives, and I lie down in its white wet,
ink prints on my cheek, feet, and dress.
Last night I dreamt my husband
held me like a forceful wind
as I strained forward to hear
a group of girls sing soft, unclear,
in our doorway.
I pushed towards them. They seemed far away.
He was strong, and I struggled against him.
Boat of letters, filled to the brim,
take us to your wild inky swamp
where leaves hang down like muted lamps,
where we can write and read; and with each broken seal,
let there be an answer, a surprise, something delightful!

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