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Ode to the Heart Smaller Than a Pencil Eraser
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“When Luisa Igloria cites Epictetus—‘as soon as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another comes in its place’—she introduces the crowded and contradictory world her poems portray: a realm of transience, yes, where the vulnerable come to harm and everything disappears, but also a scene of tremendous, unpredictable bounty, the gloriously hued density this poet loves to detail. ‘I was raised / to believe not only the beautiful can live on / Parnassus,’ she tells us, and she makes it true, by including in the cyclonic swirl of her poems practically everything: a gorgeous, troubling over-brimming universe." —Mark Doty, judge for the 2014 Swenson Award The May Swenson Poetry Award, an annual competition named for May Swenson, honors her as one of America's most provocative and vital writers. During her long career, Swenson was loved and praised by writers from virtually every school of American poetry. She left a legacy of fifty years of writing when she died in 1989. She is buried in Logan, Utah, her hometown.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
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  1. Foreword by Mark Doty
  2. Mark Doty
  3. pp. ix-xii
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  1. I
  2. pp. 1-2
  1. Wanderer
  2. p. 3
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  1. Derecho Ghazal
  2. p. 4
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  1. My Love, I Want to Tell You of Today
  2. p. 5
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  1. Dear Epictetus, This is to You Attributed
  2. p. 6
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  1. How to Flinch
  2. p. 7
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  1. Landscape, with an End and a Beginning
  2. p. 8
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  1. Campus Elegy
  2. p. 9
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  1. Landscape, with Red Boots and Branch of Dead Cherry
  2. p. 10
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  1. Boy
  2. p. 11
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  1. Why Appropriation is Not Necessarily the Same as Mastery
  2. p. 12
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  1. Certified
  2. p. 13
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  1. With Feeling
  2. p. 14
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  1. Persistent Triolet
  2. p. 15
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  1. What You Don’t Always See
  2. p. 16
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  1. Appetite
  2. p. 17
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  1. Letter to Myself, Reading a Letter
  2. p. 18
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  1. Intercession
  2. p. 19
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  1. Closer
  2. p. 20
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  1. Wake
  2. pp. 21-22
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  1. II
  2. pp. 23-24
  1. Mondo Inteirinho
  2. p. 25
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  1. Anniversary
  2. p. 26
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  1. A Single Falling Note Above
  2. p. 27
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  1. Grenadilla
  2. p. 28
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  1. Saturday Afternoon at the Y
  2. p. 29
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  1. On the Nature of Things
  2. pp. 30-31
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  1. Unbelievable Ends
  2. pp. 32-33
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  1. In a Hotel Lobby, Near Midnight
  2. p. 34
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  1. Landscape, with Cardinal and Earring
  2. p. 35
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  1. Empty Ghazal
  2. p. 36
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  1. Letter to Providence
  2. p. 37
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  1. Letter to Arrhythmia
  2. p. 38
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  1. Letter to Levity
  2. p. 39
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  1. Interior, with Roman Shades and Lovers
  2. p. 40
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  1. Recursive
  2. p. 41
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  1. Taxonomies
  2. p. 42
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  1. Lover to Lover, Air
  2. p. 43
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  1. Imperfect Ode
  2. p. 44
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  1. Villanelle of the Red Maple
  2. p. 45
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  1. Love Poem with Skull and Candy Valentines
  2. pp. 46-47
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  1. Landscape, with Remnants of a Tale
  2. p. 48
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  1. Landscape, with Darkness and Hare
  2. p. 49
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  1. Not Yet There
  2. p. 50
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  1. III
  2. pp. 51-52
  1. Hum
  2. p. 53
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  1. Dumbwaiter
  2. p. 54
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  1. Spangled
  2. p. 55
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  1. Ghazal: Chimerae
  2. p. 56
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  1. I Write Letters To Some Other Sea
  2. p. 57
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  1. Improvisations
  2. pp. 58-59
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  1. Fata Morgana
  2. p. 60
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  1. Aubade
  2. p. 61
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  1. Letter to Love
  2. p. 62
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  1. Landscape, with Mockingbird and Ripe Figs
  2. p. 63
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  1. Mobius
  2. p. 64
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  1. What Cannot Eat
  2. p. 65
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  1. Landscape with Sudden Rain, Wet Blooms, and a Van Eyck Painting
  2. p. 66
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  1. Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser
  2. p. 67
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  1. Unending Lyric
  2. p. 68
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  1. Ghazal of the Transcendental
  2. p. 69
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  1. Night Heron, Ascending
  2. p. 70
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  1. The Wren in the Lilac Cycles through Its Songs at Breakneck Speed
  2. p. 71
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  1. Reprieve
  2. p. 72
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  1. Hallucinatorio
  2. pp. 73-74
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. 75
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  1. About the Author
  2. p. 76
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  1. The May Swenson Poetry Award
  2. p. 77
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