“On Marriage,” by Meghan O’Rourke


[From the WVFC Poetry Archive. First Published June 2, 2019.]


On Marriage

Stone by stone, physique by physique within the grass:
For this we commerce our lone compass,

Change into swans as a substitute, adrift in glaze-
Mild, kilned within the arms of one another

Into vessel-vassal new. Or shrew,
Because the case could also be. What would you do?

Hearken to the footsteps within the thistles.
Put the kettle on for tea, and whisper it to me.


From As soon as, by Meghan O’Rourke. Copyright © 2013 by Meghan O’Rourke. With permission of the writer, W.W. Norton & Firm, Inc. All rights reserved. First printed in Poetry.

As soon as is out there for order here and here.

Learn a overview of As soon as here and interviews with the writer here and here. Hearken to the writer studying her poems here.


Meghan O’Rourke, a poet and nonfiction author, is the writer of the poetry collections Solar In Days (named a Greatest Poetry E-book of 2017 by The New York Occasions), As soon as, and Halflife, in addition to the bestselling memoir The Lengthy Goodbye. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and different awards, she writes for The New Yorker, The Atlantic Month-to-month, and others, and is the editor of The Yale Assessment.


Poet’s Word

I wrote this poem whereas fascinated with the way in which that marriage is a kind, not in contrast to a poem, which calls for sure sorts of commitments (and identities) from us and in flip shapes us in response to our dedication to it. So I performed round with couplets as a kind that may evoke and enact that restriction—and alternative.




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