Apr/May 2009 Poetry Special Feature


by Jennifer Finstrom


My professor told us a story
about Poe, and the fame he gained
from "The Raven." The city streets
did not welcome the poet; the new
world expanded and threatened and
beat its metal wings; but at the poet's
back children followed, flapping their
arms and squawking. Something drew
those children on, something in the poem

only partly understood: a dim room
behind curtains too heavy to lift,
a muted blaze that remained
in their heads. It was for this that
they followed him, playing raven
in the crowd. Every day they trailed
his heels, and even the game's
last word could not conceal the end:
the brittle rooms of earth waiting
for years beneath their feet.


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