Elizabeth Spires


I walked in the waist-high grass
where a million blades
sang in green cacophony.
Too many voices sang.
And in the din, I thought,
We are as grass,
as simple as grass,
our voices will be lost,
and all things pass...

I desired then
to be silent and alone,
like a stone spilled
by time into a field
the mower slowly
scythes, a stone
completely unto itself,
warmed by the sun,
shining in the sun.

Elizabeth Spires is the author of five collections of poetry: Globe, Swan's Island, Annonciade, Worldling, and, most recently, The Green Blade Rises (Norton, 2002). She has also written five books for children, including The Mouse of Amherst. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, and American Poetry Review, and in many anthologies. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, and the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she lives in Baltimore and is a Professor of English at Goucher College.

Credits: Reprinted from Now the Green Blade Rises, copyright 2002 by Elizabeth Spires, with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.