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Julie Hill Alger Poems

A collection of select Julie Hill Alger famous poems that were written by Julie Hill Alger or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Alger, Julie Hill
 They call it stroke.
Two we loved were stunned
by that same blow of cudgel
or axe to the brow.
Lost on the earth
they left our circle

 One spent five months
falling from our grasp
mute, her grace, wit,
beauty erased.
Her green eyes gazed at us
as if asking, as if aware,
as if hers. One night
she slipped away;
machinery of mercy
brought her back 
to die more slowly. 
At...Read more of this...

by Alger, Julie Hill
 At least I've learned this much:
Life doesn't have to be
all poetry and roses. Life
can be bus rides, gritty sidewalks,
electric bills, dishwashing,
chapped lips, dull stubby pencils
with the erasers chewed off,
cheap radios played too loud,
the rank smell of stale coffee 
yet still glow
with the inner fire of an opal,
still taste like honey.

 -Julie Alger...Read more of this...

by Alger, Julie Hill
I walk home at August moonrise
past a bright window.

Inside the room
an old woman sees the full moon
and turns off the lamp.

Afterimage shines in my eye:
pale face, snowy hair.

Moonlight streams over the dark house
like cool milk.
When the lamp is out, is the woman
still standing there alone?

In memory, her upraised hand glows;
in the house it is darker than shadow.
I stand on the...Read more of this...

by Alger, Julie Hill
The new war is a week old.
Bombs fall on Baghdad,
missiles on Tel Aviv.
The voice on the radio says
the armament dealers of Europe
are hopeful that a longer war
will be good for business.
They say, as fighting continues
there will be wear and tear
on matériel. Spare parts
must be manufactured,
as well as replacements
for equipment blown apart,
shattered, set afire.

Prudently, the merchants
consult their spreadsheets.
They guard against euphoria
and...Read more of this...

by Alger, Julie Hill
 When the molten earth seethed 
in its whirling cauldron 
nobody watched the pot 
from a tall wooden stool 
set out in windy space 
beyond flame's reach;

and when the spattering mush 
steamed, gurgled, boiled over, 
mounded up in smoking hills
no giant mixing spoon 
smoothed out the lumps and bubbles 
as the pottage cooled to rock. 

No kitchen timer ticked 
precisely...Read more of this...

by Alger, Julie Hill
  In the red-roofed stucco house
of my childhood, the dining room 
was screened off by folding doors 
with small glass panes. Our neighbors
the Bertins, who barely escaped Hitler, 
often joined us at table. One night 
their daughter said, In Vienna 
our dining room had doors like these.
For a moment, we all sat quite still. 

And when Nath Nong, who...Read more of this...

by Alger, Julie Hill
All the babies born that Tuesday,
full of grace, went home by Thursday
except for one, my tiny girl
who rushed toward light too soon.

All the Tuesday mothers wheeled
down the corridor in glory,
their arms replete with warm baby;
I carried a potted plant.

I came back the next day and the next,
a visitor with heavy breasts,
to sit and rock the little pilgrim,
nourish her, nourish me....Read more of this...

Book: Reflection on the Important Things