Someone arranged them in 1620. Someone found the rare lemon and paid a lot and neighbored it next to the plain pear, the plain apple of the lost garden, the glass of wine, set down mid-sip— don’t drink it, someone said, it’s for the painting. And the rabbit skull— whose idea was that? There had been a pistol but someone was told, no, put that away, into the box with a key though the key had been misplaced now for a year. The artist wanted light too, for the shadows. So the table had to be moved. Somewhere I dreamt the diary entry on this, reading the impossible Dutch quite well, thank you, and I can translate it here, someone writing it is spring, after all, and Herr Muller wants a window of it in the painting, almost a line of poetry, I thought even then, in the dream, impressed with that "spring after all," that "window of it" especially, how sweet and to the point it came over into English with no effort at all as I slept through the night. It was heavy, that table. Two workers were called from the east meadow to lift and grunt and carry it across the room, just those few yards. Of course one of them exaggerated the pain in his shoulder. Not the older, the younger man. No good reason to cry out like that. But this was art. And he did, something sharp and in the air that one time. All of them turning then, however slightly. And there he was, eyes closed, not much more than a boy, before the talk of beauty started up again.
From Grace, Fallen From by Marianne Boruch. Copyright © 2008 by Marianne Boruch. Published by Wesleyan University Press. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
Born on June 19, 1950, in Chicago, Marianne Boruch earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and her MFA from the University of Massachusetts, where she studied with James Tate. She is the author of nine books of poems, including Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing (Copper Canyon Press, 2016), Cadaver, Speak (Copper Canyon Press, 2014); The Book of Hours (Copper Canyon Press, 2011), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Grace, Fallen from (Wesleyan University Press, 2010); and Poems: New and Selected (Oberlin College Press, 2004).
Exploring the essential in the mundane and everyday, Boruch’s poems are known for their precision, calm attention, and careful reserve. Poet David Young writes that Boruch isn’t “flamboyant or flashy, armored in theory or swimming with a school. Her poems eschew the need for stylistic eccentricity or surface mannerisms. They are contained, steady, and exceptionally precise. They build toward blazing insights with the utmost honesty and care."
An essayist as well as a poet, Boruch has also published the critical works The Little Death of Self (University of Michigan Press, 2017), In the Blue Pharmacy (Trinity University Press, 2005) and Poetry’s Old Air (University of Michigan Press, 1995), as well as a memoir, The Glimpse Traveler (Indiana University Press, 2011).
Boruch has earned fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
She has taught at Tunghai University in Taiwan and the University of Maine at Farmington. In 1987, she developed the creative writing MFA program at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, serving as its first director until 2005, and she remains on the faculty today. Since 1988, she has also taught semi-regularly in the low-residency MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. She lives in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing (Copper Canyon Press, 2016)
Cadaver, Speak (Copper Canyon Press, 2014)
The Book of Hours (Copper Canyon Press, 2011)
Grace, Fallen from (Wesleyan University Press, 2010)
Poems: New and Selected (Oberlin College Press, 2004)
A Stick that Breaks and Breaks (Oberlin College Press, 1997)
Moss Burning (Oberlin College Press, 1995)
Descendant (Wesleyan University Press, 1989)
View from the Gazebo (Wesleyan University Press, 1985)
The Glimpse Traveler (Indiana University Press, 2011)
In the Blue Pharmacy (Trinity University Press, 2005)
Poetry’s Old Air (University of Michigan Press, 1995)
Date Published: 2008-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/still-life