Tuesday, June 4, 2013



There is always North, South,
West, East, the scrawny voice

of reason squeaks out,

there are maps with every bit of land
pinned down with a name,

a lion under a net,

this is the sandy isthmus
there so you can dash across it.

A little island

can make a dent in the ocean,
maybe you can find it again

in your lifetime.


  1. A wonderful poem, Hannah. You progress here from deeply felt mastery of word and metaphor to a place so strange and personal it becomes instantly recognizable and universal.

    btw I posted a response to your comment you might be interested in.

  2. Those last four lines are wonderful; they could stand as a separate poem.

  3. "In your lifetime" is one of those generalities or abstractions I usually don't like, but you make it work here, in another ominous Hanna-esque thud of ending.

    I'm very split on the issue of maps and the human sense of ownership (of dirt). On the one hand, I stare at (mostly U.S.) maps a lot and agree with William Least Heat Moon when he quotes somebody: "Maps are a way of organizing wonder."

    On the other hand (and forgive me if I've already told you this), I remember stopping by a minor road near the Indiana-Ohio border and watching a small flock of birds cross from one state into the other, which meant absolutely nothing to them, of course. I thought that event put the folly to all maps, but I keep staring at them, with only minor shame.


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