Take a deep breath before reading this poem of poison and love. A shorter poem of only 15 lines that captures longevity in a way that forces every to count. Coles’ poem “Longevity” is meant to be read over and over again. The first stanza begins:
In a world full of poison you survived
The copperhead you carried into
Your mother’s kitchen whipping
Thanks to curator and poet Meg Day for selecting this piece. Make sure to read Day’s comments below the poem, which so well describe this poem’s power, “I am so moved by the way this small poem turns so gracefully on its axis in the last line of stanza two: the world might collapse, explode, bend, break, or finally take a long breath in that space. Instead, it begins.”
“Longevity” by Katharine Coles is a selection by Kore Press for their Poem of the Week (POW) series. You can read past POWs from their Home page in the right hand column, where you will find links for several previously posted poems, including work by Mia Ayumi Malhotra, Anjoli Roy, Soma Mei Sheng Frazier, Crystal Williams, and celeste doaks.
Katharine Coles’ sixth poetry collection Flight, will be out from Red Hen Press in 2016. Recent poems and essays have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry, andCrazyhorse. A 2012-13 Guggenheim Fellow, she teaches at the University of Utah.
Kore Press is currently not accepting unsolicited submissions.