So who mothers the mothers who tend the hallways of mothers, the spill of mothers, the smell of mothers, who mend the eyes of mothers, the lies of mothers scared to turn on lights in basements filled with mothers called by mothers in the dark, the kin of mothers, the gin of mothers, mothers out on bail, who mothers the hail-mary mothers asleep in their stockings while the crows sing heigh ho carrion crow, fol de riddle, lol de riddle, carry on, carry on—
From The Game of Boxes by Catherine Barnett. Copyright © 2012 by Catherine Barnett. Published by Graywolf Press. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
Catherine Barnett was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She studied at Princeton University and at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.
Barnett is the author of Human Hours (Graywolf Press, 2018); The Game of Boxes (Graywolf Press, 2012), which was the recipient of the 2012 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets; and Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced (Alice James Books, 2004).
Of Barnett’s work, April Bernard has noted, “With subtle and cumulative force, The Game of Boxes builds a complex poetic structure in which fundamental questions about motherhood, trust, eroticism, and spiritual meaning are posed and then set into motion in relation to one another. The mind is delighted, the spirit enthralled, by this wonderful book.”
Barnett’s awards and honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Writers’ Award. Barnett, who also works as an independent editor, is the distinguished lecturer at Hunter College, the visiting poet at Barnard College, and teaches in the creative writing program at New York University. She lives in New York City.
Human Hours (Graywolf Press, 2018)
The Game of Boxes (Graywolf Press, 2012)
Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced (Alice James Books, 2004)
Date Published: 2012-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/chorus