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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why We Must Struggle

(William Morris Stamp Set issued May 2011 by the Royal
Mail of the United Kingdom)

Yesterday, the MacArthur Foundation announced that the poet Kay Ryan has been awarded one of its Fellowships, popularly called a Genius Grant: “Her mode of expression is a disarmingly clear and accessible style, characterized by concision, rhyme, wordplay, and wit.”

Ryan had previously been honored with the appointment of United States Poet Laureate from 2008 to 2010.

Why must we struggle? asks the poet.

Anything of worth, including love, demands the best of us.


If we have not struggled
as hard as we can
at our strongest
how will we sense
the shape of our losses
or know what sustains
us longest or name
what change costs us
saying how strange
it is that one sector
of the self can step in
for another in trouble
how loss activates
a latent double how
we can feed
as upon nectar
upon need?

~ Kay Ryan, born in 1945, American poet

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