Today's poem is "Vault 55."
from Vault: A Poem

New Michigan Press

Kathleen Peirce grew up in Rock Island, Illinois. She received an MFA from The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and currently teaches in the MFA program at Texas State University. Her previous books are Mercy, Divided Touch/ Divided Color, The Oval Hour, and The Ardors.

Books by Kathleen Peirce:

Other poems on the web by Kathleen Peirce:
"White Shells"
Three poems
Three poems
Four poems
Three poems
Two poems
"Hall of Light"
Five poems
"Anima Forma Corporis"

Kathleen Peirce According to Wikipedia.

About Vault: A Poem:

"Everyone who's ever read Rilke's 'Archaic Torso of Apollo' knows the depth, the loss, the bewilderment, the vision and discovery one has when encountering the work of art that's truly talismanic. This encounter lies at the heart of Kathleen Peirce's poetics. This poetics is aware that an encounter with a piece of art, (and, perhaps, language, too) is like entering a soul itself. She might be looking at a watercolor or at a statuette, or a gilded egg—but what she sees is the mystery of time. Her eye, examining an object, travels back in time, through time, at time. Whether it is 1575 or 1705 or 2017, she sees the fires are blazing. People and animals are burning. The music flames us. The silence flames in that music. How marvelous, in our scattered, ironic, frightened age to find a poet who is unafraid to possess a larger vision, a poet who, not unlike our Modernists, almost a century ago, is unafraid to look at beauty and see the dark waters of time that this beauty survives, yes, but that ravages us, its makers."
—Ilya Kaminsky

"Find here: poetry's virtues/pleasures. Gorgeous witness. Silence muscled with qualities. Net of attentiveness rippling outward from the meeting of the seer and the seen. Kin to The Tempest: the wondrous woven of the mundane. The strength of purpose and hearkening needed to walk in beauty's strangeness. Its sensuousness; its intimacy (especially with necessity) that supples its language. Patience of soul spun into physical brilliance. Time present and antique, interior and exterior, 'feather of hair in one hand, / scissors in another, not the heart / beating but what might return over the heart.' These are the most beautiful poems I know."
—Liz Waldner

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