Fanny Howe is the author of more than twenty books of poetry and prose, including The lyrics (Graywolf Press, 2007), On the Ground, finalist for the 2005 Griffin International Poetry Prize, and Selected Poems, winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Howe is also the author of several novels and prose collections, most recently, Radical Love (Nightboat Books, 2006) and Nod (Sun & Moon Press, 1998). She has written short stories, books for young adults, and the collection of literary essays The Wedding Dress: Meditations on Word and Life (University of California Press, 2003). She currently lives in New England.

Poem by Fanny Howe


The Feeder

Each bird is another bird
Each robin a robin
Each tree is another tree
Each maple a maple
Each hop is a hop in time
Each root is a fastener
Each bird becomes a bird
Inside the earth
After each hop a multiplier
Tree of seed
Tree of location
One two three—
The bird leads each word to wordlessness.

*

There is a little trouble in my eye.

Hurt is the same for all
But manifests itself as rage in one
And giggles in another.

I cry because my tear is glass.

One is a green bird with a black eye
One is a yellow bird with a red eye
One is a black bird with a blue eye
One is a brown bird with a golden eye

If you press the chest, there will be a song
Each one different from the other
This is related to color

All but paloma as gray as the sky when the snow is against her.