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Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication. For more information about how to syndicate Poem-a-Day, contact poem-a-day@poets.org.

The Garden of Eden

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, May 30, 2017.
About this Poem 

“This is part of a long political poem called ‘Atopia’ that I have been working on since the November election. In part, it’s an exploration of various conceptions of utopia and dystopia. I wrote this part of the poem in my head while on this hike that I took on Christmas Day 2016, the day George Michael died.”
—Sandra Simonds

The Garden of Eden

Vision of Baudelaire        in this North Florida forest      looking into the eye
of a lizard with green         purple eyeliner zigzagging its way up a burnt log

Florida Yew, Olive, neon orange        day moon mushrooms
over the white bluffs         of the psychiatric Apalachicola River

Valéry says shells, flowers and crystals    are the privileged
objects of nature           harmonic underbelly,
endless, alien recycle      of gorge and interlude 

George Michael died today       For I live in a bubble of joy     
Go out into the sun!         the doctor says               your blood work     
is totally normal   except for a            Vitamin D deficiency 
and left the office behind     and unleashed my sentimentality

Copyright © 2017 by Sandra Simonds. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 30, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Sandra Simonds. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 30, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

previous poems

datesort ascending title author
October 01, 2012 Poem Interrupted by Whitesnake Timothy Donnelly
September 30, 2012 Coda Ezra Pound
September 29, 2012 The Harvest Moon Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
September 28, 2012 The Gift Chard deNiord
September 27, 2012 At Hobby Lobby Rosa Alcalá
September 26, 2012 Preludes T. S. Eliot
September 25, 2012 What I'm Looking For Maureen N. McLane
September 24, 2012 effect shrewd preferences Evie Shockley
September 23, 2012 When I Buy Pictures Marianne Moore
September 22, 2012 Autumn T. E. Hulme