Yesterday, I was catching up on reading the Poem-a-Day poems from the Academy of American Poets that have been stacking up in my e-mail box. (I am still almost a week behind.) What I really love about Poem-a-Day is the variety of poems selected and that it introduces me to poets of whom I had not heard.
The poem for October 5th was “Prayer for My Unborn Niece or Nephew” by Ross Gay. On this particular read, not only was I not disappointed, I was lifted forward in my seat and found myself reading aloud with surprising force. It is a powerful poem, filled with images of life’s cruelest tribulations (war, in particular) and ultimately of hope.
Mr. Gay is the author of two collections of poetry and teaches at Indiana University and at New England College. His second book, Bringing the Shovel Down, was published in January 2011 by University of Pittsburgh Press.
Of course, I probably should have expected to receive something moving. Last week’s Poem-a-Day poems were selected by Academy of American Poets chancellor Gerald Stern, whose poetry I have loved since he visited the University of Houston and I heard him read from his book, Leaving Another Kingdom, in the fall of 1990.