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Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year.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 by King Features.

After the Squall

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, December 8, 2016.
About this Poem 

“When I first drafted ‘After the Squall,’ I had, in the back of my mind, the myth of Pandora’s jar, a container filled with bottled-up emotions. This modern-day Pandora, on a sultry summer night, unleashes the Furies by accident (or maybe not). Only after it was finished, did I realize that the poem is an ars poetica.”
—Elise Paschen

After the Squall

In need of air, she unhinged every
window, revolving ones downstairs,
upstairs skylights, mid-floor French doors,
swept into the house the salt-brine,
the cricket chirp, the osprey whistle,
the sea-current, sound of the Sound,
but had not noticed the basement
bedroom window shielded by blinds,
screen-less. Later that night when they
returned home, lights illuminating
the downstairs hall, insects inhabited
the ground floor rooms. She carried handfuls
of creatures across a River Styx—
the katydids perched on lampshades,
beach tiger beetles shuttling across
floorboards, nursery web spiders splotching
the ceiling—trying to put back
the wild fury she had released.

Copyright © 2016 by Elise Paschen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 8, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by Elise Paschen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 8, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

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