Today's poem is "The beloved is dead"
from Concerning the Book that is the Body of the Beloved

Copper Canyon Press

Gregory Orr is the author of eight previous collections of poetry, the most recent of which is The Caged Owl: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2002). Among his other books are a memoir, The Blessing (Council Oak Books, 2002), which was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the fifty best nonfiction books of 2002, and Poetry as Survival (University of Georgia Press, 2002), a study of the cultural and psychological dynamics of the personal lyric. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and two poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2003 he was presented with the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2001 he was a Rockefeller Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Culture and Survival, where he began work on a study of the political and social dimension of the personal lyric. He is a professor of English at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1975, and where he was the founder first director of its MFA in Writing Program. He lives with his wife, who is a painter, and his two daughters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Other poems by Gregory Orr in Verse Daily:
September 9, 2004:  "When I was alive..." "When I was alive—only glimpses..."
April 3, 2003:  "Some Part of the Lyric" "Some part of the lyric wants to exclude..."

About Concerning the Book that is the Body of the Beloved:

"Concerning the Book That Is the Body of the Beloved is, as Greg Orr’s work has always been, firm and definitive, as is the first step on a ladder. But this time his book has a new and thrilling dimension. What other poet do you know who would give his work such a title—ambitious and humble at the same time? He speaks now, in these many short poems, which in their entirety are really one long poem, of mysteries, of those things—emotions, situations, mind and heart states—which are beyond the definitive. In earlier works he spoke of events that were applicable to himself perhaps, and also to some other lives, but were not general; here he speaks of the events that have no larger or more important rival in our lives—of our love and our loving, which is both general to us as humans and yet particular to each of us. Greg Orr is here a Walt Whitman without an inch of Whitman’s bunting or oratory. Greg Orr is a gorgeous poet and this is a gorgeous book."
—Mary Oliver

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