The very flatness

of portraits

makes for nostalgia

in the connoisseur.


Here’s the latest

little lip of wave

to flatten

and spread thin.


Let’s say

it shows our recklessness,


our fast gun,


our self-consciousness

which was really


our infatuation

with our own fame,


our escapes,


the easy way

we’d blend in


with the peasantry,


our loyalty

to our old gang


from among whom

it was our nature


to be singled out

  • Rae Armantrout, "Our Nature" from Veil. Copyright © 2001 by Rae Armantrout.  Reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.

  • Source: Veil (Wesleyan University Press, 2001)

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"POL has opened my mind to many kinds of poetry. Before competing, my experience with poetry was limited to Dr. Seuss. I now find myself making literary references, having analytical conversations with my peers and mentors about poetry, and recalling poems throughout my day."
Mikayla Bates
2016 UT POL Champion