Luke Hankins’ “A Shape with Forty Wings”

Claire Bateman Weekly Hubris Banner 2017

“Love is strange and calls me to stranger things/When I was young I thought that I’d know why./I’ve drawn my life—a shape with forty wings.”—Luke Hankins

Speculative Friction

By Claire Bateman

Luke Hankins.

Luke Hankins.

Claire Bateman

GREENVILLE South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—January 2018—Luke Hankins was born in Natchez, Mississippi in 1984 and grew up in Pineville, Louisiana before moving to his current home in Asheville, North Carolina.

He attended the Indiana University MFA Program in Creative Writing, where he held the Yusef Komunyakaa Fellowship in Poetry. His first collection of poems, Weak Devotions, was published by Wipf & Stock Publishers in 2011. He is also the editor of Poems of Devotion: An Anthology of Recent Poets, published by Wipf & Stock in 2012. His latest book, The Work of Creation: Selected Prose, was released by Wipf & Stock in 2016. Hankins’ second poetry collection manuscript, Radiant Obstacles, was shortlisted for the 2016 Periplum Poetry Book Competition (Plymouth University, UK).

A collection of his translations from the French of Stella Vinitchi Radulescu, A Cry in the Snow & Other Poems, is forthcoming in an international edition from Seagull Books. Hankins is the founder and Editor of Orison Books, a non-profit literary press focused on the life of the spirit from a broad and inclusive range of perspectives.

“A Shape with Forty Wings” is in Luke Hankins’ 2011 collection Weak Devotions (Wipf & Stock Publishers). It was also featured on Verse Daily.

“A Shape with Forty Wings”
By Luke Hankins

Love is strange and calls me to stranger things.
When I was young I thought that I’d know why.
I’ve drawn my life—a shape with forty wings.

The woods at night are full of awesome beings.
Listen carefully and you can hear them cry:
Love is strange and calls us to stranger things.

I want to follow everything that sings,
but I cannot tell you how afraid I am to fly.
Ive drawn my life—a shape with forty wings.

The unseen Being deep inside me brings
ideas to mind I hope Ill never try—
Love is strange and calls me to stranger things.

Possibilities surround me in concentric rings.
A light shines down that I cannot see by,
yet Ive drawn my life—a shape with forty wings.

I walk about as if I understood my wanderings.
If You are near, show me how to die.
Love is strange and calls me to stranger things.
I’ve drawn my life—a shape with forty wings.

To order copies of Claire Bateman’s books Scape or Coronolgy from Amazon, click on the book covers below.

Bateman Scape

Bateman Coronology

About Claire Bateman

Claire Bateman’s books include Scape (New Issues Poetry & Prose); Locals (Serving House Books), The Bicycle Slow Race (Wesleyan University Press), Friction (Eighth Mountain Poetry Prize), At The Funeral Of The Ether (Ninety-Six Press, Furman University), Clumsy (New Issues Poetry & Prose), Leap (New Issues), and Coronolgy (Etruscan Press). She has been awarded Individual Artist Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the Surdna Foundation, as well as two Pushcart Prizes and the New Millennium Writings 40th Anniversary Poetry Prize. She has taught at Clemson University, the Greenville Fine Arts Center, and various workshops and conferences such as Bread Loaf and Mount Holyoke. She lives in Greenville, SC. (Please see Bateman's Author's Page for links to all her publications.)
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