poem index

Poem-a-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 250 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary and audio by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is distributed via email, web, and social media to 500,000+ readers free of charge. The series is curated by twelve poets from across the country who have wide-ranging expertise and editorial perspectives. Learn more about the 2019 guest editors and revisit the 2018 guest editors and the poems they curated. Read more about Tracy K. Smith's approach to curating April

Nearly

Recorded for Poem-a-Day April 25, 2019.
About this Poem 

“Over several years, this poem expanded to three pages then contracted to a mere six lines, changing states as dramatically as water does with the rise and fall of temperatures. Allowing the poem to change states this way felt in sync with how the poem tracks an ongoing awareness of the planet's deteriorating bodies of water and, alongside that awareness, all the private bodily experiences that drive earlier painful memories to surface in the mind each day.”
—Idra Novey

Nearly

When we slid out of the lane.

When my sleeve caught fire.

While we fought in the snow.

While the oncologist spoke.

Before the oil spilled.

Before your retina bled.

Beyond the kids at the curb.

Beyond the turn to the forest.

After the forest turned to ashes.

After you escorted my mother out.

As I led your father in.

As the dolphin swam the derelict canal.

While the cameras filmed it dying.

While the blackout continued.

When the plane dipped.

When the bank closed.

While the water.

While the water.

And we drank it.

Copyright © 2019 by Idra Novey. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 25, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2019 by Idra Novey. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 25, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.