“Tonight the windows hold all light inside: they fold it back on walls…

Taylor Henry cropped. . . and spill gold over things that tell us who we are.”  This is from “Learning the Language”  by Henry Taylor. It’s a beautifully constructed poem that follows strict rules of rhyme and meter. When he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1986, his love of form was considered “unfashionable.”  I can’t think of another contemporary poet who writes so clearly while honoring precise conventions.  Here is the last sentence:

“Imagined air unweaves

our losses and dissolves

ourselves into ourselves,

scatters us into leaves

and you and I become

whatever words we may

have come so far to say.”

Henry Taylor, The Flying Change (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1985), p. 46.



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