Rita Dove Archive
In the hyperbole of “apocalypse,” in the rhetorical design that anticipates a time predicted forever, a poem that meditates on the end of the world situates itself somewhere between prophecy and historical memory. An end has been ongoing—and changing—since the first mention of the end.
Recently I was looking at calls for poetry and I came across one that listed the editor’s preferences for the type of work that appealed to her. She listed the things which, in her mind, made a poem worthy of calling itself a poem.
As sure as our perceptions of history are inherited, they are also incomplete. “History throws its shadow over the beginning,” wrote the poet Richard Siken. “History is a little man in a brown suit / trying to define a room he is outside of. / I know history. There