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Susan Barba

Susan Barba is the author of the poetry collection Fair Sun (David R. Godine, 2017). Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Yale Review, Antioch Review, Raritan, Harvard Review, and elsewhere, and she has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. She is a senior editor for New York Review Books and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

By This Poet

1

Exhibit 1

Start with a base map, unlabeled terrain,
in shaded green and ochre, nude relief,
 
cool continental mass bathing in blue,
a face whose features now are visible,
 
unannotated, apolitical,
as if a mighty snow had settled here
 
and muffled every static line and letter,
earth as naked as the moon, but full
 
of lively color, from the fissured west
into the placid belly of the country,
 
eastward over quartzite ridge, carbonate
valley into southwest-trending s-curves
 
up the coast, a range two thousand miles,
two hundred fifty million years of mountain
 
formed in three successive waves of rock
uplifted and depressed, and in the west
 
it’s just begun. Nine hundred million acres
under time, under stress and stretches
 
of content. Reserved for a duration.
Blue-green grid of constant revolution.