Sunday, January 09, 2005

Robert Pinksy's Choice

Former U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky will take over the Washington Post's Poet's Choice in the Book World.

Here's a Pinsky poem chosen by the outgoing Poet's Choice writer, Edward Hirsch, from Sunday's Book World:


If You Could Write One Great Poem,
What Would You Want It To Be About?


(Asked of four student poets at the Illinois Schools
for the Deaf and Visually Impaired)

Fire: because it is quick, and can destroy.
Music: place where anger has its place.
Romantic Love -- the cold or stupid ask why.
Sign: that it is a language, full of grace,

That it is visible, invisible, dark and clear,
That it is loud and noiseless and is contained
Inside a body and explodes in air
Out of a body to conquer from the mind.



"If You Could Write One Great Poem, What Would You Want It To Be About?" appears in Pinsky's book "The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996." Farrar Straus Giroux. Copyright © 1996 by Robert Pinsky.

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