poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this poet

Dara Wier was born in Louisiana on December 30, 1949. She received her M.F.A. in 1974 from Bowling Green State University.

Wier is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including You Good Thing (Wave Books, 2013); Selected Poems (2009); Remnants of Hannah (2006); Reverse Rapture (2005), which received the 2006 SFSU Poetry Center Book Award; Hat On a Pond (2002); Voyages in English (2001); Our Master Plan (1998), which received the Phi Beta Kappa Award; Blue for the Plough (1992); The Book of Knowledge (1988); All You Have in Common (1984); The 8-Step Grapevine (1980); and Blood, Hook & Eye (1977).

About her work, John Ashbery has said: "It may not be for the faint of heart—most intense experiences aren't—but those who stay with it will find themselves face to face with a world whose eerily sharp focus suggests recent satellite photographs of Mars. And they will never be the same again."

The Harvard Review has said "Recalling at moments the philosophical comedy of Wallace Stevens and Wislawa Szymborska, many of Wier's colloquial stanzas draw a reader away from a recognizable world into one in which women waltz with bears, houseflies chat with colonels, and the absence of sound makes a material presence."

Her work has been included in recent volumes of Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Prize Anthology. Her poetry has been supported by fellowships and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the American Poetry Review. In 2005, she held the Rubin Distinguished Chair at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

She teaches workshops and form and theory seminars and directs the M.F.A. program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she lives with her husband, the poet James Tate.

Who Is God? So Asked Our Dog

Dara Wier, 1949
How many seasons are there?
Where was God born?
How many stars?
Who discovered every single one of the Americas and all of the other places?
Do some dwarves live in caves?
Is your mother singing in church tonight?
Is your father setting his hat on his head?
Do those goldfish belong to you?
Why did their God rise from the dead?
Could it be because of a forgotten pencil?
Do you like to study history?
Is this your book?
Where does cotton grow?
Why did the Holy Family go to Egypt. What is the Holy Family?
Do you see frightened ghosts on the streets sometimes?
I see the dog in your eye.
How would you like this to end?
Gone was a dog off to where a dog wants to go.
Who needed some help from old friends?
Do you see the question mark at the end of this sentence?
Somewhat maligned Pandora remains a curious person.



Photo of Dara Wier, James Tate, Guy Pettit & Emily Pettit's beloved Scottie. She goes by Maggie, Maggy, and Magpie, variously, and is "responsible for this poem."

Copyright © 2011 by Dara Wier. Poem and image used by permission of the author.

Copyright © 2011 by Dara Wier. Poem and image used by permission of the author.

Dara Wier

Dara Wier

Born in 1949, poet Dara Weir is the author of numerous collections of poetry

by this poet

poem
A wolf had grown tired of his character and sought
to find a means to transform himself into something 
more vicious, more deadly. While his coat was slick,
thick and well-colored, for he was an excellent hunter,
he yearned for something to do that had nothing to do 
with survival or instinct. He no longer
poem
(it’s scaffolding) (it’s supposed to be temporary) 
(the domino effect) (had been forgotten about)
(it was in storage) (nobody knew where)
(that’s a logging road) (you can see its gutters)
(they leave handprints) (they shudder with dolor)
(nobody could settle on any particular color)
(they meant different things
poem

The pressure of the moment can cause someone to kill someone or something

The leniency of consideration might treat with more kindness

Which is to be desired. Or at least often to be desired.

But if my house is on fire and you notice, I wish you would kill

That fire. But if my hair is on