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Best Famous Jorie Graham Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Jorie Graham poems. This is a select list of the best famous Jorie Graham poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Jorie Graham poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Jorie Graham poems.

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Written by Jorie Graham |


 I watched them once, at dusk, on television, run,
in our motel room half-way through
Nebraska, quick, glittering, past beauty, past
the importance of beauty.
, archaic, not even hungry, not even endangered, driving deeper and deeper into less.
They leapt up falls, ladders, and rock, tearing and leaping, a gold river, and a blue river traveling in opposite directions.
They would not stop, resolution of will and helplessness, as the eye is helpless when the image forms itself, upside-down, backward, driving up into the mind, and the world unfastens itself from the deep ocean of the given.
Justice, aspen leaves, mother attempting suicide, the white night-flying moth the ants dismantled bit by bit and carried in right through the crack in my wall.
How helpless the still pool is, upstream, awaiting the gold blade of their hurry.
Once, indoors, a child, I watched, at noon, through slatted wooden blinds, a man and woman, naked, eyes closed, climb onto each other, on the terrace floor, and ride--two gold currents wrapping round and round each other, fastening, unfastening.
I hardly knew what I saw.
Whatever shadow there was in that world it was the one each cast onto the other, the thin black seam they seemed to be trying to work away between them.
I held my breath.
as far as I could tell, the work they did with sweat and light was good.
I'd say they traveled far in opposite directions.
What is the light at the end of the day, deep, reddish-gold, bathing the walls, the corridors, light that is no longer light, no longer clarifies, illuminates, antique, freed from the body of that air that carries it.
What is it for the space of time where it is useless, merely beautiful? When they were done, they made a distance one from the other and slept, outstretched, on the warm tile of the terrace floor, smiling, faces pressed against the stone.

Written by Jorie Graham |


 The slow overture of rain, 
each drop breaking 
without breaking into 
the next, describes 
the unrelenting, syncopated 
Not unlike the hummingbirds imagining their wings to be their heart, and swallows believing the horizon to be a line they lift and drop.
What is it they cast for? The poplars, advancing or retreating, lose their stature equally, and yet stand firm, making arrangements in order to become imaginary.
The city draws the mind in streets, and streets compel it from their intersections where a little belongs to no one.
It is what is driven through all stationary portions of the world, gravity's stake in things, the leaves, pressed against the dank window of November soil, remain unwelcome till transformed, parts of a puzzle unsolvable till the edges give a bit and soften.
See how then the picture becomes clear, the mind entering the ground more easily in pieces, and all the richer for it.

Written by Jorie Graham |

The Way Things Work

 is by admitting 
or opening away.
This is the simplest form of current: Blue moving through blue; blue through purple; the objects of desire opening upon themselves without us; the objects of faith.
The way things work is by solution, resistance lessened or increased and taken advantage of.
The way things work is that we finally believe they are there, common and able o illustrate themselves.
Wheel, kinetic flow, rising and falling water, ingots, levers and keys, I believe in you, cylinder lock, pully, lifting tackle and crane lift your small head-- I believe in you-- your head is the horizon to my hand.
I believe forever in the hooks.
The way things work is that eventually something catches.

More great poems below...

Written by Jorie Graham |


 Over a dock railing, I watch the minnows, thousands, swirl
themselves, each a minuscule muscle, but also, without the
way to create current, making of their unison (turning, re-
entering and exiting their own unison in unison) making of themselves a
visual current, one that cannot freight or sway by
minutest fractions the water's downdrafts and upswirls, the
dockside cycles of finally-arriving boat-wakes, there where
they hit deeper resistance, water that seems to burst into
itself (it has those layers) a real current though mostly
invisible sending into the visible (minnows) arrowing
 motion that forces change--
this is freedom.
This is the force of faith.
Nobody gets what they want.
Never again are you the same.
The longing is to be pure.
What you get is to be changed.
More and more by each glistening minute, through which infinity threads itself, also oblivion, of course, the aftershocks of something at sea.
Here, hands full of sand, letting it sift through in the wind, I look in and say take this, this is what I have saved, take this, hurry.
And if I listen now? Listen, I was not saying anything.
It was only something I did.
I could not choose words.
I am free to go.
I cannot of course come back.
Not to this.
It is a ghost posed on my lips.
Here: never.

Written by Jorie Graham |

To A Friend Going Blind

 Today, because I couldn't find the shortcut through,
I had to walk this town's entire inner
perimeter to find
where the medieval walls break open
in an eighteenth century
The yellow valley flickered on and off through cracks and the gaps for guns.
Bruna is teaching me to cut a pattern.
Saturdays we buy the cloth.
She takes it in her hands like a good idea, feeling for texture, grain, the built-in limits.
It's only as an afterthought she asks and do you think it's beautiful? Her measuring tapes hang down, corn-blond and endless, from her neck.
When I look at her I think Rapunzel, how one could climb that measuring, that love.
But I was saying, I wandered all along the street that hugs the walls, a needle floating on its cloth.
Once I shut my eyes and felt my way along the stone.
Outside is the cashcrop, sunflowers, as far as one can see.
Listen, the wind rattles in them, a loose worship seeking an object, an interruption.
Sara, the walls are beautiful.
They block the view.
And it feels rich to be inside their grasp.
When Bruna finishes her dress it is the shape of what has come to rescue her.
She puts it on.

Written by Jorie Graham |

The Surface

 It has a hole in it.
Not only where I concentrate.
The river still ribboning, twisting up, into its re- arrangements, chill enlightenments, tight-knotted quickenings and loosenings--whispered messages dissolving the messengers-- the river still glinting-up into its handfuls, heapings.
glassy forgettings under the river of my attention-- and the river of my attention laying itself down-- bending, reassembling--over the quick leaving-offs and windy obstacles-- and the surface rippling under the wind's attention-- rippling over the accumulations, the slowed-down drifting permanences of the cold bed.
I say iridescent and I look down.
The leaves very still as they are carried.

Written by Jorie Graham |

Of The Ever-Changing Agitation In The Air

 The man held his hands to his heart as
 he danced.
He slacked and swirled.
The doorways of the little city blurred.
Something leaked out, kindling the doorframes up, making each entranceway less true.
And darkness gathered although it does not fall .
And the little dance, swinging this human all down the alleyway, nervous little theme pushing itself along, braiding, rehearsing, constantly incomplete so turning and tacking -- oh what is there to finish? -- his robes made rustic by the reddish swirl, which grows darker towards the end of the avenue of course, one hand on his chest, one flung out to the side as he dances, taps, sings, on his scuttling toes, now humming a little, now closing his eyes as he twirls, growing smaller, why does the sun rise? remember me always dear for I will return -- liberty spooring in the evening air, into which the lilacs open, the skirts uplift, liberty and the blood-eye careening gently over the giant earth, and the cat in the doorway who does not mistake the world, eyeing the spots where the birds must eventually land --

Written by Jorie Graham |

San Sepolcro

 In this blue light
 I can take you there,
snow having made me
 a world of bone
seen through to.
This is my house, my section of Etruscan wall, my neighbor's lemontrees, and, just below the lower church, the airplane factory.
A rooster crows all day from mist outside the walls.
There's milk on the air, ice on the oily lemonskins.
How clean the mind is, holy grave.
It is this girl by Piero della Francesca, unbuttoning her blue dress, her mantle of weather, to go into labor.
Come, we can go in.
It is before the birth of god.
No one has risen yet to the museums, to the assembly line--bodies and wings--to the open air market.
This is what the living do: go in.
It's a long way.
And the dress keeps opening from eternity to privacy, quickening.
Inside, at the heart, is tragedy, the present moment forever stillborn, but going in, each breath is a button coming undone, something terribly nimble-fingered finding all of the stops.