The Monday Poem: ‘Hemispheres’ by Grace Schulman

The Monday Poem is brought to you by Professor Jim Gormley of the English Department. Enjoy!

by Grace Schulman

Our bodies, lucent under the bedclothes,
fit tightly like the pieces of a broken
terra-cotta vase now newly mended,
smooth surfaces, no jagged edges visible.

I’ve read that countries were so interlocked
before tectonic heavings, when the ocean
parted Mexico and Mauritania.
Brazil’s shoulder was hoisted to Nigeria,
Italy pressed Libya, Alaska
lay so close to Russia that fingers touched.
Our tremulous hands held fast in sleep at dawn;
legs, arms entwined, one continent, one mass.

The Monday Poem logoGrace Schulman is the 2016 recipient of the organization’s highest award, the Frost Medal, presented annually for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry. Previous winners of this award include Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Lucille Clifton, Charles Simic, Marilyn Nelson, and Kamau Brathwaite, the 2015 recipient.

Grace Schulman is the author of seven volumes of poetry including Days of Wonder: New and Selected Poems, a finalist for the Phi Beta Kappa Award; The Paintings of Our Lives, a selection of the Academy of American Poets’ Book Club; and most recently Without a Claim.  She is the author of a book of essays First Loves and Other Adventures and the editor of The Poems of Marianne Moore. Among her honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Aiken Taylor Award for Poetry, the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award for Poetry, and  a Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is Distinguished Professor of English at Baruch College, CUNY, the former director of the Poetry Center, 92nd Street Y, 1974-84, and former poetry editor of The Nation, 1971-2006.