Poem Beginning with a Line by Milosz

Claire Bateman

Claire Bateman Weekly Hubris Banner 2017

“When I was in Timişoara, Romania, I discovered these beautiful, tall churches made of mud and straw with exaggeratedly steep roofs. The churches, however, were so small inside they were almost of no use. I asked a peasant why they were made this way. He told me that ‘One grows slender when approaching God.’”—Mark Irwin

Speculative Friction

By Claire Bateman

Mark Irwin.

Mark Irwin.

Claire BatemanGREENVILLE South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—August 2017—Poet Mark Irwin was born in Faribault, Minnesota, in 1953, and has lived throughout the United States and abroad in France and Italy. His poetry and essays have appeared widely in many literary magazines including Antaeus, The American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, Paris Review, Poetry, The Nation, New England Review, and the New Republic. He has taught at a number of universities and colleges including Case Western Reserve, the University of Iowa, Ohio University, the University of Denver, the University of Colorado/Boulder, the University of Nevada, and Colorado College. The author of six collections of poetry, The Halo of Desire (1987), Against the Meanwhile, Wesleyan University Press (1989), Quick, Now, Always, BOA (1996), White City, BOA (2000), Bright Hunger, BOA (2004), and Tall If, New Issues (2008), he has also translated two volumes of poetry, one from the French and one from the Romanian. Recognition for his work includes The Nation/Discovery Award, four Pushcart Prizes, National Endowment for the Arts and Ohio Art Council Fellowships, two Colorado Council for the Arts Fellowships, two Colorado Book Awards, the James Wright Poetry Award, and fellowships from the Fulbright, Lilly, and Wurlitzer Foundations. He lives in Colorado, and Los Angeles, where he currently teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at the University of Southern California. Mark Irwin’s new website is: www.markirwinauthor.com His new book will be out in October. Read an interview with the poet here: http://www.bookslut.com/features/2009_01_013872.php. (Biography courtesy of http://www.coloradopoetscenter.org/poets/irwin_mark/.)

“Poem Beginning with a Line by Milosz”

By Mark Irwin

“The most beautiful bodies are like transparent glass.”

They are bodies of the selfless or of those newly

dead. What appears transparent is really flame

burning so brightly it appears like glass. What

you’re looking through is the act of giving: One

thing in life needed desperately, given to another,

or perhaps life itself. The most beautiful bodies

are not transparent, but sometimes the color

of lead, like the elephant whom a child with some

peanuts lifts by the trunk in his hand in the swirling

dust, so that it appears he has lifted a monument

or a city with all its pain. The bodies that seem

transparent are made of an ice so pure it appears

to be glass sweating, where you, desiring another,

glimpse your own face that weighs nothing and is burning.

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

Bateman Scape

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Claire Bateman

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 amazon.com Author's Page for links to all her publications.)
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2 Responses to Poem Beginning with a Line by Milosz

  1. Elizabeth Boleman-Herring Elizabeth Boleman-Herring says:

    Thank you, Claire! Thank you for every line you write; every line you find.

  2. claire bateman says:

    Thank YOU, Elizabeth, for guarding the flame!

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