Contemporary Poets: Ocean Vuong

From Vuong’s website:

ocean-vuong-photo-e1460384292804A 2016 winner of the Whiting Award and 2014 Ruth Lilly fellow, Ocean has received honors and awards from Poets House, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, and a Pushcart Prize. His poetry and fiction have been featured in Kenyon R
eview, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Poetry, and theAmerican Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. His work has been translated into Albanian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Cantonese, French, Italian, Hindi, Spanish, and Ukrainian.

 Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he resides in New York City.”

Eurydice

 It’s more like the sound
a doe makes
when the arrowhead
replaces the day
with an answer to the rib’s
hollowed hum. We saw it coming
but kept walking through the hole
in the garden. Because the leaves
were bright green & the fire
only a pink brushstroke
in the distance. It’s not
about the light—but how dark
it makes you depending
on where you stand.
Depending on where you stand
his name can appear like moonlight
shredded in a dead dog’s fur.
His name changed when touched
by gravity. Gravity breaking
our kneecaps just to show us
the sky. We kept saying Yes—
even with all those birds.
Who would believe us
now? My voice cracking
like bones inside the radio.
Silly me. I thought love was real
& the body imaginary.
But here we are—standing
in the cold field, him calling
for the girl. The girl
beside him. Frosted grass
snapping beneath her hooves.

– From The Nation

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