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About this poet

Patricia Hooper was born in Saginaw, Michigan. She received a BA and MA from the University of Michigan.

She is the author of four poetry collections, including Separate Flights (University of Tampa Press, 2016), which received the Anita Claire Sharf Award, and Other Lives (Elizabeth Street Press, 1984), which received the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. She is also the author of several children’s books.

Hooper lives in Gastonia, North Carolina.


Selected Bibliography

Separate Flights (University of Tampa Press, 2016)
Aristotle’s Garden (Bluestem Press, 2003)
At the Corner of the Eye (Michigan State University Press, 1997)
Other Lives (Elizabeth Street Press, 1984)

The World Book

When the woman in blue serge
held up the sun, my mother
opened the storm door, taking
the whole volume of S
into her hands. The sun
shown as a sun should,
and we sat down at the table
leafing through silks and ships,
saints and subtraction. We passed
Scotland and Spain, street-
cars and seeds and even
the Seven Wonders until
the woman who owned them skipped
to the solar system and said
it could be ours. My mother
thought, as I held my breath,
and while she was writing the check
for everything, A through Z,
I noticed the room with its stove
and saucers and spoons. I was wearing
a sweater and skirt and shoes
and there at the window the sun
was almost as clear as it was
in the diagram where its sunspots,
ninety-three million miles
from the earth and only a page
from Sumatra, were swirling. The woman
stood up, slamming it shut,
and drove down the street to leave us
in Saginaw, where I would wait
for the world to arrive. And each morning,
walking to school, I believed
in the day it would come, when we’d study
Sweden or stars and I’d stand
at the head of the classroom and take
the words of the world from my satchel,
explaining the secrets. 

Copyright © 2003 Patricia Hooper. From Aristotle’s Garden (Bluestem Press, 2003) by Patricia Hooper. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2003 Patricia Hooper. From Aristotle’s Garden (Bluestem Press, 2003) by Patricia Hooper. Used with permission of the author.

Patricia Hooper

Patricia Hooper is the author of four poetry collections, including Separate Flights (University of Tampa Press, 2016) and Other Lives (Elizabeth Street Press, 1984).

by this poet

poem
This morning a hawk plunges
straight for the squirrel at my feeder
and leaves only
its signature: blood on the snow.

All morning it circled the yard,
then dove, stunning itself
on the glass sky of my window,

and in minutes returned, braving
the thin, perilous channel
between hedgerow and house.
I was watching
poem
Near the path through the woods I’ve seen it:
a trail of white candles.

I could find it again, I could follow
its light deep into shadows.

Didn’t I stand there once? 
Didn’t I choose to go back

down the cleared path, the familiar?
Narcissus, you said. Wasn’t this

the flower whose sudden
poem
After last night’s rain the woods
smell sensual—a mixture of leaves and musk.
The morels have disappeared, and soon I’ll come across
those yellow chanterelles, the kind they sell
in town at the farmers’ market. Once I saw
the Swedish woman who raises her own food
foraging for them, two blond boys
quarreling near