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Nate Klug
Nate Klug

Difference

About this Poem 

“This poem was written as my partner and I were preparing to move, from the Central time zone to the Pacific. For a little while, she was out there before me. The displacement allowed for a kind of imaginative transference—to a point, at least.”
Nate Klug

Difference

Nate Klug

Talk to you tonight,
I wrote this morning, knowing
it would only be the afternoon
where you are, will be,
whole neighborhood still
wrapped in a tule fog
that won’t let up—so you reported
before supper
                       while I slept.
I almost wrote this afternoon
instead, taking your point
of view, dissolving into it—
but then imagined
you half-awake, and irked,
into my future/current noon
texting for clarification.

Copyright © 2015 by Nate Klug. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 3, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Nate Klug. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 3, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

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Lemon Andersen reads on the High Line as part of “After Sunset: Poetry Walk," New York City, 2015.
poem

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
Maya Angelou
1978
collection

Classic Books of American Poetry

This collection of books showcases the masterpieces of American poetry that have influenced—or promise to influence—generations of poets. Take a look.

Juan Felipe Herrera
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Juan Felipe Herrera: A Tribute

To celebrate Academy of American Poets Chancellor Juan Felipe Herrera's appointment in 2015 as the twenty-first Poet Laureate of the United States, we’ve compiled the following collection of photographs, essays, exclusive video, and poems.