Friday, August 3, 2012

Poetry Friday: A Poet to Love--Elise Paschen

Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago

Four Poetry Fridays in a row...after such a long hiatus, I'd say that's pretty good. Today I was going to share a short poem I found and adored. It was so good that I couldn't help but start searching for other poems by the poet. Here's the first bit of the first one I found, "Division Street" by Elise Paschen.

Division Street

by Elise Paschen

                         ". . . Prayer book and Mother, shot themselves last Sunday."
                                        Gwendolyn Brooks

The spire of Holy Name Cathedral rose like a prayer
above Chicago Avenue. I thumbed a leather-bound book
in catechism class, recited the Hail Mary. Fire and
devils blazed at night. The nuns told my mother
I had a calling.

Read the rest of the poem here at

You really have to love a short poem. I've written before about how fascinating I find them. Brevity is not a strength of mine, so I'm awestruck when a poet can weave magic using a few short lines.

But I digress...I was so enamored with this poem that I absolutely had to find more by Elise Paschen. Here's a bit from one that tells sort of a heart-wrenching and uncomfortable story, it's called "Voir Dire:"

When he phoned the next morning from another state,
saying that, after our dance,
after my exit, in full view of the guests,
the waiters at long tables
of open bars, she lunged at him, tearing his tux,
his dress shirt, scratching his chest,
drawing blood with her nails, demanding a response:
"Why can't you love only me?"

You can read the rest here, at The Poetry Foundation.

Finally, I'll share two more, that you can click these links to read. They're worth it...

Be sure to check out the Poetry Friday roundup over at On the Way to Somewhere, a new member of the Poetry Friday host club.

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