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Poem of the Week: January 1, 2018

Happy New Year! Every week, the BOA staff shares one of our favorite poems from our over 300 collections of poetry. The BOA team is excited to continue our Poem of the Week series with an ars poetica from the Isabella Gardner Award-winning collection Sharp Stars by Sharon Bryan.


It's like tuning slowly
around our Zenith radio's
glowing shortwave dial

as I did as a child, listening
for the voices from Madagascar,
Fiji, the Canary Islands,

I could spend hours like this,
eyes closed, ear pressed
to the speakers to catch

snatches of language
between high-pitched squeals
and long patches of static,

and though I can't understand
most of the words that do
come through, it's clear

what they say is urgent—
someone's in love, someone's
at war, no one's at peace—

so I do my best to get it down,
just in case I can see one day, how-
ever belatedly, what it all means.

Buy a copy of Sharp Stars from the BOA Bookstore.

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