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Tony Hoagland

Tony Hoagland

Tony Hoagland's most recent collection of poems, Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty, was published by Graywolf Press in February 2010. He is also the author of four other books of poetry, including What Narcissism Means to Me, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Donkey Gospel, winner of the James Laughlin Award. Graywolf also published his Real Sofistikashun: Essays on Poetry and Craft in 2006. He has received the Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers, the Mark Twain Award from the Poetry Foundation, and the O.B. Hardison, Jr. Poetry Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library. He teaches in the graduate writing program at the University of Houston and in the Warren Wilson College low-residency M.F.A. Program.

To Move

like a bee through a meadow

from blossom to blossom visiting with one
then drifting casually across a space  

to where another waits, wanting                                                    
to spread yourself around    

wanting to touch every      personal pronoun
from pulpit  to synogogue       from vestibule to choirloft  

yet not wishing the petunia to notice
you circle the tall delphinium                    

or the hydrangea to see you enter
the deep flouncy petticoats of the gardenia      

To be a bee.  And love the sensation        
of making a whole meadowfull

of flowers
with pleasure,
rubbing them the right way              

then the other
unworried about getting hibiscus

mixed up with larkspur,  
whispering mimosa to crocus

To move like a bee        
in beespace and beetime

more and more sticky with ore
adrift in the anesthesia  

before romance had been invented  
before we had been expelled from that place

all of us deep in the clover  To be
a simple good-natured, single-syllable bee

speaking confidentially

unobtrusively slipping
deep into the fissure of an ear.


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