Today's poem is "Young Helen"
from Find the Girl

Coffee House Press

Lightsey Darst is a writing instructor, dance critic, and dancer who lives in Minneapolis where she curates a writers' salon. The recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, her poems have appeared in the Antioch Review, Diagram, Gulf Coast, Monkey Bicycle, New Letters, and elsewhere. Find the Girl is her first collection.

Other poems by Lightsey Darst in Verse Daily:
May 22, 2006:   "=" " A cortege: birds..."

Books by Lightsey Darst:

Other poems on the web by Lightsey Darst:
"Land Use Planning"
"Ursa Majorettes"
Two poems
Two poems

About Find the Girl:

"Bluegrass and teen lust, the sequels to horror films and the modernist fragment, perennial myth and murder mystery, all erupt into Lightsey Darst's serious poems: their stories spin out just on the right edge of the lurid, where ‘the 2007 peach queens . . . welcome you / to this stretch of kudzu & jack pine.' Sometimes frankly erotic, sometimes harsh as warnings, Darst brings to life Kore and Helen, the eternal, enticing victim and the resurrected heroine; she calls the girl ‘danderous: razor in a soft fruit; and she makes us believe it. ‘Hidden in those games,' she writes, ‘I gave away / all of myself.' Playing hooky, playing dead, playing ‘an instrument built from her body,' Darst is playing with fire: her verse lights up the night sky."
—Stephen Burt

"We should not lie about life. Find the Girl, in its violent intricacies unearthed by the hand of a poet dutiful to the women and girls long lost from poetry, knows this. It knows, above all, not to lie, that the elegy of our times cannot resurrect the dead into an idealized heaven but must, instead, lay bare those words and deeds that batter a life until it is perceived ‘as a sewer,' a plaything, a pageantry or a curse, even unto death. We should not lie, and thank God we have a poet like Lightsey Darst who will not, and cannot, it seems, lie to us. Find the Girl is an important, ravaging debut."
—Katie Ford

"Find the Girl is a book of poems as urgent as its title. Lightsey Darst has unearthed a voice full of languorous passion that manages to be unstoppably swift as well—rhythmically surprising, fragmented and unnerving, but also narrative—a collection in which each poem stands on its own, yet is part of a far larger whole. Here we have an important new poetic voice, one that fully earns Louis Zukofsky's observation that, in poetry, ‘Each word itself is an arrangement / The story must exist in each word or it cannot go on.' Lightsey Darst has internalized this, practiced it, perfected it, and brought it to us in this incredible collection. She has done something truly new."
—Laura Kasischke

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