Finding My Elegy: New and Selected Poems

Finding My Elegy: New and Selected Poems

By:  Ursula K. Le Guin

"She never loses touch with her reverence for the immense what is." — Margaret Atwood

Though internationally known and honored for her imaginative fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin started out as a poet, and since 1959 has never ceased to publish poems. Finding My Elegy distills her life's work, offering a selection of the best from her six earlier volumes of poetry and introducing a powerful group of poems, at once earthy and transcendent, written in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

The fruit of over a half century of writing, the seventy selected and seventy-seven new poems consider war and creativity, motherhood and the natural world, and glint with humor and vivid beauty. These moving works of art are a reckoning with a whole life.

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  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780547858227

  • ISBN-10: 0547858221

  • Pages: 208

  • Price: $10.99

  • Publication Date: 09/18/2012

  • Carton Quantity: 1

Ursula K. Le Guin
Author

Ursula K. Le Guin

URSULA K. LE GUIN was born in Berkeley, California, in 1929, and passed away in Portland, Oregon, in 2018. She published over sixty books of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, children's literature, and translation. She was the recipient of a National Book Award, six Hugo and five Nebula awards, and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  
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  • excerpts

    From Wild Angels (1960–1975)

    Offering

    I made a poem going

    to sleep last night, woke

    in sunlight, it was clean forgotten.

    If it was any good, gods

    of the great darkness

    where sleep goes and farther

    death goes, you not named,

    then as true offering

    accept it.

    The Maenads

    Somewhere I read

    that when they finally staggered off the mountain

    into some strange town, past drunk,

    hoarse, half naked, blear-eyed,

    blood dried under broken nails

    and across young thighs,

    but still jeering and joking, still trying

    to dance, lurching and yelling, but falling

    dead asleep by the market stalls,

    sprawled helpless, flat out, then

    middle-aged women,

    respectable housewives,

    would come and stand nightlong in the agora

    silent

    together

    as ewes and cows in the night fields,

    guarding, watching them

    as their mothers

    watched over them.

    And no man

    dared

    that fierce decorum.

    From A Book of Songs

    The Old Lady

    I have dreed my dree, I have wooed my wyrd,

    and now I shall grow a five-foot beard

    and braid it into tiny braids

    and wander where the webfoot wades

    among the water’s shining blades.

    I will fear nothing I have feared.

    I’m the queen of spades, the jack of trades,

    braiding my knives into my beard.

    Why should I know what I have known?

    Once was enough to make it my own.

    The things I got I will forget.

    I’ll knot my beard into a net

    and cast the net and catch a fish

    who will ungrant my every wish

    and leave me nothing but a stone

    on the riverbed alone,

    leave me nothing but a rock

    where the feet of herons walk.

    Creation of the Horse

    The salt green uncle-god, the Earthquaker,

    thought of a creature with muscles like sea-swells

    to leap across the beaches like a breaker

    and beat on the earth like the waves with its feet.

    So he struck a startled island with his trident

    and then himself stood back in surprise

    at the fiery uprearing, the white mane flying,

    the foam-spattered flanks and the earth-dark eyes.

    The Arts of Old Age

    written in the airport

    I learn the arts of old age day by day:

    the expertise of being lame; the sense

    of unimpatient impotence;

    the irony of all accomplishments;

    the silent, furtive welcome of delay.

    The Whirlwind

    Will fear of the foreboding dream

    avert or invite the prophecy?

    How to foretell the paths of dust

    caught in this visionary whirl,

    this standing wind, this spiral stream?

    A breath breathed out will set me free.

    I’ll choose to do the thing I must.

    The world dreamed me, I dream the world.

    January Night Prayer

    Bellchimes jangle, freakish wind

    whistles icy out of desert lands

    over the mountains. Janus, Lord

    of winter and beginnings, riven

    and shaken, with two faces,

    watcher at the gates of winds and cities,

    god of the wakeful:

    keep me from coldhanded envy

    and petty anger. Open

    my soul to the vast

    dark places. Say to me, say again,

    nothing is taken, only given.

Available Resources

Related Categories

  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780547858227

  • ISBN-10: 0547858221

  • Pages: 208

  • Price: $10.99

  • Publication Date: 09/18/2012

  • Carton Quantity: 1

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