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By May Swenson

Body my house

my horse my hound   

what will I do

when you are fallen


Where will I sleep   

How will I ride   

What will I hunt


Where can I go

without my mount   

all eager and quick   

How will I know   

in thicket ahead

is danger or treasure   

when Body my good   

bright dog is dead


How will it be

to lie in the sky

without roof or door   

and wind for an eye


With cloud for shift   

how will I hide?


May Swenson, “Question” from Nature: Poems Old and New. Copyright © 1994 by May Swenson. Reprinted with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Source: Nature: Poems Old and New (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1994)

  • Living
  • Nature

Poet Bio

May Swenson
Ranked by Harold Bloom as one of the twentieth century’s three best women poets, May Swenson was born in Logan, Utah, but spent most of her adult life in New York City. Active as an editor, teacher and critic, she also translated Swedish poetry and wrote many poems for children. Her particular gift was for close observation and sensuous, imagistic description of the physical world. From 1980 to 1989 she acted as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

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