Published on Academy of American Poets (


There is nothing beautiful here
However I may want it. I can’t
Spin a crystal palace of this thin air,
Weave a darkness plush as molefur with my tongue
However I want. Yet I am not alone
In these alleys of vowels, which comfort me
As the single living nun of a convent
Is comforted by the walls of that catacomb
She walks at night, lit by her own moving candle.
I am not afraid of mirrors or the future
—Or even you, lovers, wandering cow-fat
And rutting in the gardens of this earthly verge
Where I too trod, a sunspot, parasol-shaded,
Kin to the trees, the bees, the color green.


Copyright © 2013 by Monica Ferrell. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on May 27, 2013.

About this Poem

"Once, during the blistering, red-edged heat of early July in New York City, I took a long walk home from a bad date of drinking rosé, passing, in a foul mood, through the various neighborhoods of Brooklyn where everything and everyone seemed to be happy but the heat-stifled trees and me and the anxious bees hovering around spent flowers. In the morning I got up to write, and, while I was trying to make a different poem, this came out. Initially titled ‘Wozu Dichterin,’ a riff feminizing the title of Heidegger’s essay ‘Wozu Dichter?’ (‘Why-For Poets?’ or ‘What Are Poets For?’), it proposes to tell the vocation of a (female) poet, and is as close as I’ve come to writing an ars poetica."
—Monica Ferrell


Monica Ferrell

Monica Ferrell is the author of the poetry collection You Darling Thing (Four Way Books, 2018).

Date Published: 2013-05-27

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