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Saturday, October 30, 2021

'A familiar daily struggle'

“If someone is alone reading my poems, I hope it would be like reading someone's notebook. A record. Of a place, beauty, difficulty. A familiar daily struggle.” – Fanny Howe

The poet, novelist, and short story writer Howe recently turned 81 (on Oct. 15th).   Awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize - presented by the Poetry Foundation to a living U.S. poet whose lifetime accomplishments warrant extraordinary recognition -
Howe is one of the most widely read American poets.                
Her poems "Everything's a Fake" and "Doubt” were selected for the anthology Great American Prose Poems: from Poe to the Present.   For Saturday’s Poem, here is Howe’s,


                                        I have never arrived
                                        into a new life yet.

                                        Have you?

                                        Do you find the squeak
                                        of boots on snow


                                        Have you heard people
                                        say, It wasn't me,

                                        when they accomplished
                                        a great feat?

                                        I have, often.
                                        But rarely. 
                                            is one of the elements.
                                            It keeps things going.

                                            The ferry
                                            with its ratty engine
                                            and exactitude at chugging
                                            into blocks and chains.

                                            Returning as ever
                                            to mother’s house
                                            under a salty rain.

                                            Slave up, slave down.


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