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About this poet

Born on November 8, 1948, Rachel Hadas is the author of numerous books of poetry, essays, and translations, most recently The River of Forgetfulness (Wordtech Communications, 2006); Laws (2004); Indelible (2001); Halfway Down the Hall: New & Selected Poems (1998), which was a finalist for the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; The Empty Bed (1995); The Double Legacy (1995); Mirrors of Astonishment (1992); and Living in Time (1990).

Hadas studied classics at Harvard University, poetry at Johns Hopkins, and comparative literature at Princeton University. She spent four years in Greece between college and graduate school, an experience that surfaces in much of her work.

Since 1981 she has taught in the English Department of the Newark, New Jersey campus of Rutgers University, and has taught occasional courses in literature and writing at both Columbia and Princeton universities. She has also served as faculty of the Sewanee Writers' Conference.

About Hadas's work, the poet Grace Schulman has written, "The poems are urgent, contemplative, and finely wrought. In them, antiquity illuminates the present as Rachel Hadas finds in ordinary human acts 'what never was and what is eternal.'"

Among her honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant, and an award in literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

She lives in New York City.

Dawn Dreams

Rachel Hadas, 1948
Dreams draw near at dawn and then recede
even if you beckon them.
They loom like demons
you tug by the tail to examine from up close
and then let fly away.
Their colors at once brighter and less bright
than you remembered, they
hover and insinuate all day
at the corner of your eye.

Copyright © 2010 by Rachel Hadas. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2010 by Rachel Hadas. Used with permission of the author.

Rachel Hadas

Rachel Hadas

Born on November 8, 1948, Rachel Hadas is the author of numerous books of poetry, essays, and translations.

by this poet

poem
So far the nights feel lonelier than the days.
In light, the living keep me company,
and memories of voices through the years.

Each summer threads a green familiar maze.
Emerging sun-struck, you can barely spy
the slow kaleidoscope of clouds and hours.

Those flannel nightshirts chilly sleepers wear
as summer
poem

When my son was a few weeks old,
replicas of his yawning face appeared
suddenly on drowsy passersby:

middle-aged man’s gape that split his beard,
old woman on a bus, a little girl—
all told a story that I recognized.

Now he is fifteen.
As my students shuffle in the