poem index


William Olsen

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William Olsen is the author of four poetry collections: Avenue of Vanishing (Northwestern University Press, 2007), Trouble Lights (Northwestern University Press, 2002), Vision of a Storm Cloud (Northwestern University Press, 1996), and The Hand of God and a Few Bright Flowers (University of Illinois Press, 1988). Olsen is the recipient of The Nation/Discovery Award, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches at Western Michigan University and Vermont College. He lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

by this poet

Because it turns out the world really is a hospital,
Because we had to have had before us a giant pair of scissors
Before four bold wings can have newly ascended,
Before new doors can revolve, before new elevators
Rise and fall empty and full, new numbers light,
New floors with new doors both open and closed