Today's poem is "Pictograph: Falling Buffalo"
from Pictograph

Milkweed Editions

Melissa Kwasny is in the author of acclaimed poetry collections The Nine Senses (Milkweed Editions, 2011) Reading Novalis in Montana (Milkweed Editions, 2009), The Archival Birds (Bear Star Press, 2000), and Thistle (Lost Horse Press, 2006), which won the Idaho Prize in 2006. She is the editor of Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry 1800-1950 (Wesleyan University Press, 2004). She was recently the Richard Hugo Visiting Poet at the University of Montana and a Visiting Writer at the University of Wyoming Kwasny received the Poetry Society of America's 2009 Cecil Hemley Award for a series of poems that appears in The Nine Senses. She lives in Jefferson City, Montana.

Books by Melissa Kwasny:

Other poems on the web by Melissa Kwasny:
Two poems
Four poems
"Reading Novalis in Montana"
Three poems

About Pictograph:

"In Melissa Kwasny's Pictograph each prose poem is a compass that locates us within intimate natural details up close, never blurring the emotional optics of acute revelations. These praise songs turn a keen eye to the elemental made spiritual—the gift of breathtaking focus. Here, the pictographs and petroglyphs are alive with celebratory observation that connects to the good earth. We feel exactly what the speaker means when she says, "As if you knew I would understand this as approval." But we are also held accountable for what we witness. Indeed, Pictograph is an act of communion through deep seeing and singing, and every glimpse rewards us."
—Yusef Komunyakaa

"'What is form but the reigning in of our desire?' asks poet Melissa Kwasny. 'Do our dreams prepare us for our eventual deaths?' Part elegy, part ontological meditation, part fierce celebration of nature's relentless evanescence, these luminously stunning poems interrogate what it means to be human—the profound yearning and profound spirituality of both human observation and human expression. In a gorgeous palimpsest, poems emerge in concert with ancient pictographs, only to become transformed into pictographs in and of themselves; pictographs in which nature emerges in concert with the poet as a creator of pattern, color, and sign—marking its images upon the poet, who in turn leaves her unforgettable imprimatur upon the reader. After reading Pictograph, I feel myself forever inscribed by the timeless art of these poems."
—Lee Ann Roripaugh

"These poems have brought me to my knees, a new catechism founded on the breath of ochre and stone. Among the careful script of the ancients, Melissa Kwasny's vision has superbly located what it means to be human. What it means to seek answers, to mark the passage of time, and to leave behind remnants of hope for those to come. Through these poems of cosmic examination, we are reminded again and again that we were here. And we remain."
—M.L. Smoker

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