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Monday, October 22, 2012

Grace Paley: Suddenly There’s Poughkeepsie

Mid-Hudson Bridge as Seen from Vassar Hospital - Poughkeepsie
no copyright infringement intended

Grace Paley released the poem shortly before her death.

Suddenly there's Poughkeepsie / except for its spelling / an ordinary town - great phrase - there is also anonther one in this poem - Lorldly Hudson - she was embracing all, mockery and pantheist awe, in this poem where poetry is larger than life.

what a hard time
the Hudson River has had
trying to get to the sea

it seemed easy enough to
rise out of Tear of
the Cloud and tumble
and run in little skips
and jumps   draining
a swamp here and
there   acquiring
streams and other smaller
rivers with similar
longings for the wide
imagined water

there’s Poughkeepsie
except for its spelling
an ordinary town but
the great heaving
ocean sixty miles away is
determined to reach
that town every day
and twice a day in fact
drowning the Hudson River
in salt and mud
it is the moon’s tidal
power over all the waters
of this earth at war with
gravity     the Hudson
perseveres    moving down
down    dignified
slower    look it has
become our Lordly Hudson
hardly flowing
and we are
now in a poem by the poet
Paul Goodman  be quiet heart
home home
(The New Yorker, December 24, 2007)

(Grace Paley)

(New York, New York)



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