Lia Purpura

Rare Moment
November 14, 2011 Purpura Lia

Rare Moment


A clear choice

is so sweet. Not

reluctant complicity but

real resistance

to spring.


or none. Grief,

not gradients.

Someone essential.

Someone not.

A good, dark



weighing everything

at the end of each day.

Look, a cat killed a cardinal

on an emerald lawn.

For so many reasons

it shouldn’t have been


But that’s also the kind of book

I like best.


Lia Purpura is the author of 7 collections of essays, poems, and translations.  Her awards include a  Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, NEA and Fulbright Fellowships, and three Pushcart prizes. On Looking (essays) was finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Herpoems and essays appear in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Orion, The Paris Review, Field and elsewhere. In 2015, her collection of poems It Shouldn’t Have been Beautiful, will be published by Viking/Penguin. She lives in Baltimore, MD and is Writer in Residence at The University of Maryland, Baltimore County.