Ralph Angel

August 9, 2014 Angel Ralph



Looking through trees strangely into nature.

A window, an air-conditioner, a wall covered with ivy.

The book on your lap.  Your head tilted back.

Like handling cups or pennies, a shovel, a stone.

Like where an arm is found, or where the tangled limbs go.

A bookshop, a fruitstand.  You wake up and there you are, and there you are.

“Do we have any cookies, or something nice?”

Toward the east outstretches the shadow.  On the left a plywood lake.

Gods and horses playing in the fountain.  A conch shell.  A robe.

The swallows, the sandstorms, a pink fire in the clouds.

And the generator, the chain and the pulley.  Unheard-of laughter and prayer.

The long exhalation.  Of baskets and flutes.

Of bracken.  Of reed.  Of cypress and olive, pelvis and spine.

Three shoes on a doorstep.  Of human unfinished.

The spirit in time.

Ralph Angel’s latest collection, Your Moon, was awarded the 2013 Green Rose Poetry Prize. Exceptions and Melancholies: Poems 1986-2006 received the 2007 PEN USA Poetry Award, and his Neither World won the James Laughlin Award of The Academy of American Poets. In addition to five books of poetry, he also has published an award-winning translation of the Federico García Lorca collection, Poema del cante jondo / Poem of the Deep Song. Angel is the recipient of numerous honors, including a gift from the Elgin Cox Trust, a Pushcart Prize, a Gertrude Stein Award, the Willis Barnstone Poetry Translation Prize, a Fulbright Foundation fellowship and the Bess Hokin Award of the Modern Poetry Association. He lives in Los Angeles, and is Edith R. White Distinguished Professor at the University of Redlands, and a member of the MFA in Writing faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts.