Knopf Poem-a-Day: April 5, Nancy Willard’s “At the Foundry”

Nancy Willard, now the author of twelve collections of verse, remains a poet of deep empathy with the ordinary, finding within it glimmers of the extraordinary and a language to illuminate them. (Don’t miss the printable broadside link below the poem, the first of several we’ll offer this month.)

At the Foundry

Here is an angel, here is a tiger
guarding a nude woman dreaming herself
into marble. Here is a bronze wrestler so big
a visitor fainted; hence the removable fig leaf.
I could lose myself in this foundry.
I am the smallest creature in it.

Things come and go, as God invents them.
May the molten bronze cool.
May the copper rose remember its thorns.
May the pewter bird discover its wings.
May the brass book lie open, indifferent to time,
turning and turning its pages of light.

Download the printable broadside of this poem.

Learn more about Nancy Willard’s The Sea at Truro and browse other titles by Nancy Willard.

Excerpt from The Sea at Truro. Copyright © 2012 by Nancy Willard. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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