By Marilyn Nelson

Poems for Contemplation: "Dusting"

This summer The Well is featuring a series of poems by women. Ruth Goring invites you to approach them curiously and meditatively.

"Dusting"

by Marilyn Nelson

Thank you for these tiny
particles of ocean salt,
pearl-necklace viruses,
winged protozoans:
for the infinite,
intricate shapes
of submicroscopic
living things.

For algae spores
and fungus spores,
bonded by vital
mutual genetic cooperation,
spreading their
inseparable lives
from equator to pole.

My hand, my arm,
make sweeping circles.
Dust climbs the ladder of light.
For this infernal, endless chore,
for these eternal seeds of rain:
Thank you. For dust.

 

© from The Fields of Praise: New and Selected Poems


Photo by Travel Photographer from StockSnap.

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About the Author

Marilyn Nelson is the author or translator of more than 20 books and chapbooks for adults and children. Her critically acclaimed books for young adults include A Wreath for Emmett Till and the ground breaking Carver: A Life in Poems, a Newbery Honor Book. Of Marilyn’s nine poetry collections for adults, The Homeplace won the 1992 Annisfield-Wolf Award; and The Fields of Praise: New and Selected Poems received the 1998 Poets’ Prize, the PEN Winship Award, and the Lenore Marshall Prize. A three-time finalist for the National Book Award, her many honors include the Frost Medal, the Poetry Society of America’s award for “distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry,” and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. A professor emerita of English at the University of Connecticut, she served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and was Poet Laureate of Connecticut, 2001– 2006.

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