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About this Poem 

“This ‘Song’ comes from a chapbook, to be published by Omnidawn next April, titled Shields & Shards & Stitches & Songs. It’s deeply concerned with the ways in which poetry, like a shield, often becomes a token of the violence it means most to avert. Seven ‘shield’ poems suffer a damage via erasure to become ‘shards,’ the shards are again acted against to leave the barest sense of ‘stitches’ in hope that the sutured wound could allow the healing that becomes ‘songs.’ This ‘Song’ is the final result of one shield altering through the entire process—a way, I hope, not to sing simply against the impossibly large human history of war, but to sing through it.”
–Dan Beachy-Quick

Song

Dan Beachy-Quick


The wars are everywhere, o even within.

Drawn in poor bee by the dance loud hum

Of some other tribe, poor bee. Even the center, even the heart,

Keeps a sting sharp: art stings thought, thought stings art.

Petty realm of the long known. Are there other ways to learn to sing?

Clash of long dead blades in the fallow fields

And the wind that blows truce for an hour whistles loud the rash

Martial tune. Some scribe handles himself. “Use it,” sings the song.

Copyright @ 2014 by Dan Beachy-Quick. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on August 25, 2014.

Copyright @ 2014 by Dan Beachy-Quick. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on August 25, 2014.

Dan Beachy-Quick

Dan Beachy-Quick is the author, most recently, of A Brighter Word Than Bright: Keats at Work (Iowa University Press, 2013). He is a Monfort Professor teaching in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Colorado State University and lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.

by this poet

poem

     I know, to entice, to convince, I must sing
   Your ear inside stone, must sing
     Gold bitten and true, the corn kernel, one seed, 
       I must plant one gold seed in your mouth with my lips.
Raleigh says: the Queen knows my name. The Crown
       Of a woodpecker is
poem
But how find how as it flew onward
& the mountains gave back the sound
to say what I mean the call of the bird
& the echoe after to say I've seen?

Raven hungers and calls and the mountain
Hungers back and calls
The whole range of peaks in the bird's beak.
Raven lonely and the mountain rings
poem
4.

I speak these words directly into his yawn

Open cave of
                    his dark almost kind
                                                  of fire-lit mouth 


And the shadows there my words form these shadows
In the back of the hero's throat

A world we applaud where chained to the ground
We