Tribute to Carolyn Kizer

Volume VI of POETRY NORTHWEST is a tribute to its co-founder the poet Carolyn Kizer.

Here's her poem, The Skein, which appears in Cool, Calm, and Collected, published in 2001 by Copper Canyon Press.

The Skein (from a poem by Emperor Wu-ti)

Moonlight through my gauze curtains
Turns them to nets for snaring wild birds,
Turns them into woven traps, into shrouds.
The old, restless grief keeps me awake.
I wander around, holding a scarf or a shawl;
In the muffled moonlight I wander around
Folding it carefully, shaking it out again.
Everyone says my old lover is happy.
I wish they would say he is coming back to me.
I hesitate here, my scarf like a skein of yarn
Binding my two hands loosely
..................that would reach for paper and pen.
So I memorize these lines,
Dew on the scarf, dappling my nightdress also.
O love long gone, it is raining in our room!
So I memorize these lines,
..................without salutation, without close.

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