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We're building the ship as we sail it / Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan is an erstwhile America Poet Laureate and a Pulitzer Prize winner. But what is so delicious about her poem are the mordent inner-springs that seem to unfold in the course of reading. Little 'recombinant' rhymes within lines. Like all good poems, the second and third readings seem to unlock lots of lovelinesses. This is one of my favourites:

We're Building the Ship as We Sail It

The first fear

being drowning, the

ship's first shape

was a raft, which

was hard to unflatten

after that didn't

happen. It's awkward

to have to do one's

planning in extremis

in the early years-

so hard to hide later:

sleekening the hull,

making things

more gracious.

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