poem index


Etel Adnan

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Etel Adnan

Etel Adnan was born in 1925. She has written more than a dozen books of poetry, fiction, and essays. Her most recent poetry collections are Night (Nightboat Books, 2016) and the forthcoming Surge (Nightboat Books, 2018). Adnan is a recipient of a PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award, the California Book Award, a Lambda Book Award, and a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. She lives in Paris.

by this poet

A long night I spent
thinking that reality was the story
of the human species

the vanquished search for the vanquished

Sounds come by, ruffling my soul

I sense space’s elasticity, 
go on reading the books she wrote on the
wars she’s seen

Why do seasons who regularly follow