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By Hailey Leithauser

No other song

                    or swoop (part

       quiver, part swivel and

             plash) with

  tour de force

stray the course note


   (its new,

bawdy air an

       aria hangs in) en-


             trills, loops, soars,

                    startles, out-warbles,

out-brawns, more


                    lifts up

the dawn, outlaws from

                        sackcloth, the cool

     sloth of bed sheets,

                             from pillows

           and silks

                and blue-quilted, feminine

bolsters, fusses

                      of coverlets;

                                   nips as the switch

of a juvenile willow, fuzz

               of a nettle, to

       window and window

                           and window and ever

                   toward egress, to

           flurry, pollen

and petal shed,

                            to wet street

  and wet pavement,

              all sentiment intemperate,

  all sentience


Source: Poetry (November 2012)

  • Living
  • Nature

Poet Bio

Hailey Leithauser
Hailey Leithauser originally took poetry workshops as an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, but stopped writing for almost 20 years while she pursued a career as a librarian. Standing in front of a van Gogh painting during a visit to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., she was inspired to return to writing, and eventually developed her own form, the small sonnet. Writing dense, compact poems packed with slant and full rhymes has taught Leithauser “to really exploit what you can do in a poem that is only 70 syllables long and that relies on rhyme to really carry it through," she told the Takoma Voice in an interview. Born in Florida, Leithauser lives in Takoma Park, Maryland. See More By This Poet

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