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Saturday, June 29, 2019

Poetic Versatility Personified

"I grew up aware of two ways of looking at the world that are opposed to each other and yet can exist side by side in the same person. One is the scientific view. The other is the magic view." – Nancy Willard

    Born this week in 1936, Willard (who I featured earlier this week for her career in writing) was an  award-winning, versatile author of many of volumes of poetry. The first author to win the Newbery Prize (recognizing the best in children’s literature) for a book of poetry for children, she also wrote novels, short stories and literary criticism for adults.  For Saturday’s Poem, here is Willard’s, 

                       The Vanity of the Dragonfly
The dragonfly at rest on the doorbell—
too weak to ring and glad of it,
but well mannered and cautious,
thinking it best to observe us quietly
before flying in, and who knows if he will find
the way out? Cautious of traps, this one.
A winged cross, plain, the body straight
as a thermometer, the old glass kind
that could kill us with mercury if our teeth
did not respect its brittle body. Slim as an eel
but a solitary glider, a pilot without bombs
or weapons, and wings clear and small as a wish
to see over our heads, to see the whole picture.
And when our gaze grazes over it and moves on,
the dragonfly changes its clothes,
sheds its old skin, shriveled like laundry,
and steps forth, polished black, with two
circles buttoned like epaulettes taking the last space
at the edge of its eyes.

Writer’s Moment with a friend at httpe://writersmoment.blogspot.com

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