Fred Marchant

The Left Hand
December 16, 2016 Marchant Fred

The Left Hand


clay votive offering


Etruria, 3rd century BCE


maybe three inches tall


forget the museum’s numbers on the wrist


look hard into the open palm instead







take your time



Image used with permission of the Gregorian Etruscan Museum of the Vatican.


Fred Marchant’s most recent collection of poetry, Said Not Said, was published by Graywolf Press in 2017, and awarded “Honored Book” status by the Massachusetts Book Awards for that year. Marchant’s first book, Tipping Point, won the 1993 Washington Prize, and was reissued in a 20th anniversary second edition. His other books include Full Moon Boat (Graywolf, 2000). and House on Water, House in Air (Dedalus Press, Dublin, Ireland, 2002) and The Looking House (Graywolf, 2009). He is also a co-translator (with Nguyen Ba Chung) of collections by several contemporary Vietnamese poets, including work by Tran Dang Khoa, Vo Que, and Le Chi. An emeritus professor of English at Suffolk University in Boston, Marchant is also the editor of Another World Instead: The Early Poems of William Stafford, 1937-1947 (Graywolf, 2008).