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Three Poems

To Long
    from "Eden and After"

How beautiful they were,
Adam thought—
These beasts and birds;
These tall grasses
And flowering trees.

And yet, how full
The universe—
As if there were no room
For words he ached to say.

Shouted aloud, they
Might displace
The very things
He wished to celebrate.

Therefore, he sang
A dense and wordless song
That filled the only
Emptiness he knew:

Inside him,
Near his heart
Where a rib had been removed.

[The life I live]
    from "The City of Poetry"

The life I live,
The one I hoped
To live—
How seldom
They coincide.

Sometimes, briefly,
They do;
Sometimes, in the city.

[River inside the river]
    from "River Inside the River"

River inside the river.
World within the world.

All we have is words

To reveal the rose
That the rose obscures.

Gregory Orr

River Inside the River
W. W. Norton

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