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By Phillis Levin

To fish from a cloud in the sky

You must find a comfortable spot,

Spend a day looking down

Patiently, clear-sighted.


Peer at your ceiling:

Where a light dangles, hook & line

Could be slipping through.


Under the hull of a boat

A fish will see things this way,


Looking up while swimming by — 


A wavering pole’s refraction

Catching its eye.


What will you catch?

With what sort of bait?

Take care or you’ll catch yourself,


A fish might say,

As inescapable skeins of shadow

Scatter a net

Over the face of the deep.


Source: Poetry (February 2016)

  • Living
  • Nature

Poet Bio

Phillis Levin
Phillis Levin was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey, and educated at Sarah Lawrence College and The Johns Hopkins University.  She is currently a professor of English and the Poet-in-Residence at Hofstra University. See More By This Poet

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