Find the poem in the World
At the corner where North Lincoln Street dead ends at Crain Avenue in Kent, in a bare tree over the roadway, hangs a hornet’s nest, a globe of paper thin patchwork, a sky dome constructed with chewed wood fiber mixed with saliva, an abandoned piñata. ...
When we make the poem, wood pulp paper, black spittle ink, we build a refuge for ourselves and others, a shelter house. Poetry is the house that poems built, line by line, spit, tears and word. It will not save us. Time and cold claim all, even the queen, that sorrowful mother. It is respite, a temporary shelter where we may learn and listen to one another’s hearts.
Go there. Look up. Know this:
We live inside more worlds than we can count.
What we call sky is our own making.
To love is to serve.
To work is to love.
Some leave. Others remain.
The frost is the cold breath
of a god who forgives us everything.
There is a single door: egress, enter.
Beyond that is a nameless silence.
We will not be together here again.
The hornet’s nest is finished,
as best we could.
It is time to leave before the deep cold.
Let us raise high what we have done here,
hoist it into the open arms of the World.
Excerpt from “Find the Poem in the World,” Clouds Pile Up in the North:
New and Selected Poems, by Maj Ragain, Press 53, LLC (November, 2017)
Illustrator: Zuzana Kubišová ’17
Maj Ragain Poetry Scholarship
Maj Ragain (1940-2018) was a beloved creative writing professor and mentor at Kent State University. In memory of his many years serving the Kent community, his family and friends have established the Maj Ragain Poetry Scholarship that will award a Kent State undergraduate or graduate student annually. The Wick Poetry Center and the Ragain family are also asking for the community’s support to help fund the scholarship for years to come.
Individual and corporate donations can be made to the Wick Poetry Center at 126 S. Lincoln St., Kent, OH 44240. One hundred percent of each tax-deductible donation will go toward the scholarship fund.
For full scholarship application guidelines and online donation information, please visit https://www.kent.edu/wick/maj-ragain-poetry-scholarship.
SHARE YOUR VOICE!
In partnership with the Wick Poetry Center, Kent State Magazine features a poem by one of our readers in each issue. To submit your poem, visit travelingstanzas.com, click “Submit,” and label it “Magazine Entry.”