Today's poem is "Night Falling Early"
from The Shadow I Dress In

David Robert Books

Rhina P. Espaillat is a native of the Dominican Republic but has lived in the U.S. since the age of seven. She publishes in English and Spanish and has four poetry collections in print: Lapsing to Grace (Bennett & Kitchel, 1992); Where Horizons Go (Truman State University Press, 1998), which won the T. S. Eliot Prize; Rehearsing Absence (University of Evansville Press, 2001), which won the Richard Wilbur Award; and Mundo y Palabra/The World and the Word (Oyster River Press, 2001), a bilingual chapbook. She has won the Howard Nemerov Award, the Sparrow Sonnet Prize, and prizes from the Poetry Society of America. Espaillat lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

Praise for Rhina P. Espaillat:

"She notices what we typically overlook, and she delineates it with lucid intelligence, tolerance, and good humor. Hers is a voice of experience, but it is neither jaded nor pedantic. She speaks not from some cramped corner but from somewhere close to the center of life....I value Espaillat...for restoring to common words their original, now uncommon power."
—Robert B. Shaw, "Straws in the Wind," Poetry September 2002

"Although Espaillat is a believer in life, she is too skeptical to embrace any credo without reservations. Hers is a troubled optimism and a reluctant pessimism. There are always questions, and she knows in her bones that some of them have no answer....Whether she writes in a light or a serious vein, Espaillat is a meditative poet. In some of her most characteristic work, she juxtaposes witty and weighty themes in a manner recalling that of Andrew Marvell and other seventeenth-century Metaphysical lyricists."
—Alfred Dorn, "A Questioning Muse," Iambs & Trochees, Fall/Winter 2002

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