Elizabeth Spires


The Whitman Issue
Volume 6:1, Winter 2004


I walked in the waist-high grass
where a million blades
sang in green cacophony.
Too many voices sang.
And in the din, I thought,
We are as grass,
as simple as grass,
our voices will be lost,
and all things pass…

I desired then
to be silent and alone,
like a stone spilled
by time into a field
the mower slowly
scythes, a stone
completely unto itself,
warmed by the sun,
shining in the sun.


Reprinted from Now the Green Blade Rises, copyright 2002 by Elizabeth Spires, with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.


Elizabeth Spires is the author of six collections of poetry: The Wave-Maker (Norton, 2008), Now the Green Blade Rises (Norton, 2002), Swan's Island (Carnegie Mellon, 1997), Worldlings (Norton, 1992), Annonciade (Puffin, 1989), and Globe (Wesleyan, 1981). She has also written five books for children, including The Mouse of Amherst (Scholastic, 2001). The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, and the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she lives in Baltimore and is a Professor of English at Goucher College.