Born in St. Joseph, Joyce Sutphen is Minnesota's second poet laureate. She holds a Ph.D. in renaissance drama from the University of Minnesota and currently resides in the city of Chaska.

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Minnesota poet laureate

Joyce Sutphen

Joyce Sutphen is the author of Modern Love & Other Myths (Red Dragonfly Press, 2015), After Words (Red Dragonfly Press, 2013), and First Words (...


On the Forty-Ninth Birthday of "The Day Lady Died"
It is 3:00 in the torpid New South, three days past Bastille Day & yes
        this is the form you fashioned,
isn't it? Exact & fast & haunted as the opening chords of "Sweet Jane"
        (Mott the Hoople version),
I am thirty-three and working in an expensive clothier, 
selling suits to men I call "Sir."
These men are muscled, groomed and cropped--
with wives and families that grow exponentially.
Mostly I talk of rep ties and bow ties,
of full-Windsor knots and half-Windsor knots,
of tattersall, French cuff, and English
                                       ... reverberation
                              Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
                              He who was living is now dead
                              We who were living are now dying
                              With a little patience.