Today's poem is "Sien"
from Coppelia, Certain Digressions

David Robert Books

Judith Skillman is the winner of numerous awards, including the Eric Mathieu King Fund from the Academy of American Poets and the Stafford Award from the Washington Poets Association. She has received grants from Centrum Foundation, King County Arts Commission, and the Washington State Arts Commission. Her poems have appeared in Iowa Review, Northwest Review, Poetry, Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Malahat Review, and many other journals. Her previous volumes of poems include Opalescence and Latticework (David Robert Books).

Other poems by Judith Skillman in Verse Daily:
February 13, 2007:   "Meadows" "What would the meadow hold..."
March 8, 2005:  "Field Thistle" ""Herb and spine..."
July 5, 2004:  "Reclaimed" "No, the acre has no hold on me, I told the cold...."
May 6, 2004:  "Lattice," "The Arbor" and "The Espalier" "By its milky light the sun left to grow..."
October 16, 2002:  "Lilacs" "Because they signify a life / less sterile, I twist their stems..."

About Coppelia, Certain Digressions:

"In ‘Coppelia,’ the title poem of Judith Skillman’s tenth collection, marionette and puppet master/maker become vehicles for the speaker’s uneasy musings about the not-always-clear separation of the mechanistic from the human. We are, they seem to say, both puppet and manipulator, prone to entrapment in either role. This concern animates the entire collection, which draws into its imagistic net classical myth, Gothic fairytale, biblical history, astronomy, and the poet’s own constellation of natural and mechanistic images. As always, in Skillman’s work, a delicate surface shimmers over its own turbulent depths. Dolls, puppets, and autumnal sadness form the matrix of Skillman’s balletic lines. From the pure gorgeousness of ‘Ostinato,’ wherein the moon is compared to the ‘globe like a fruit/ of apple-pear hanging/ in her [the widow’s] window,’ to the painful accuracy of the ‘rose’s arthritic limbs,’ to the outright brutality of ‘father stuck to the teeth of the clock drive’—as indeed we are all stuck to the teeth of the clock drive—these poems will not let you rest, will keep you continuously off balance even as you delight in their strange beauty. The work of this accomplished poet, always agile and substantial, has deepened over the years, its luster darkening from quicksilver to bronze."
—Judith Skillman

"...But unlike those poets who take refuge in the natural world, for fear of describing human foibles, Judith Skillman writes just as insightfully about the built environment, including human relationships..."
—Tina Kelley

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