Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Joan E. Bauer: Telling My Friend Nancy about the Poet Amy Clampitt

Forgive me, she happened to look & think & sound—

rather like you, especially the youthful Amy with beret & pearls

in London. Her voice: fervent & eager, rising in an upcurl

half-an-octave when startled—or surprised.

A birch, not an oak, not a willow,

but rather head-in-the-clouds.

A misfit child in Iowa, lying on the rug, reading.

A Quaker, impatient with authority.

She thought herself no scholar, but had the widest curiosity.

You’d have loved her Greenwich Village where

she met her partner Harold mixing sangria for the Democrats,

wrote angry letters to Kissinger, spent two nights in jail.

But even you will need a dictionary for her poems,

a notepad to diagram the syntax.

Nothing escaped her microscopic focus:

Not beach glass & owls, migraines & kudzu.

Remember when we camped in Acadia?

You could name every leafy twig, the smallest sea urchin.

Even now, Nancy, I know you’d drop everything

to listen to a hermit thrush.

Copyright 2016 Joan E. Bauer.

First published in Cider Press Review. Reprinted by permission of the author.

To read “A Hermit Thrush” by Amy Clampitt, click here.


Hermit thrush (photo Audubon Society)

2 comments on “Joan E. Bauer: Telling My Friend Nancy about the Poet Amy Clampitt

  1. Barbara
    November 26, 2016

    Joan–terrific poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Diane Kerr
    November 26, 2016

    Joan–what a fantastic poem! Thank you so much–Diane Kerr

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on November 26, 2016 by in Poetry and tagged , , .

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