Anne Winters

Winner of the William Carlos Williams Award in 2005

Wall Street and Pine: The Rain

Now the god of rainy August hangs his mask
among the city's spires and balustrades
and stone clocktowers half-effaced in clouds.
On Park the first reflecting pool dims
with a thousand smelted silver circle-rims,
while west on Fifth a modiste scatters leaves
in fall vitrines, and felt-browed mannequins
resign the world with gestures of disdain.

Now in the Cloister's high parterres the rain
floods copper gutterings, boxwood, terraced urns
and mottoes. "The weather turns." Clamped to their pier,
the smiling Gaul, the murderer Clotaire,
and Isaiah, green-throned, water-cowled, exchange
their fine-lit ironies for rotes of pain.

 

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Robert Pinsky on Anne Winters

Anne Winters' amazing book brings together qualities that would be rare separately: passion, originality, eloquence and intellectual distinction. She sees New York with the visionary spirit of Hart Crane and the social alertness of Jacob Riis—which is to say that Winters apprehends the city so well, evokes it so authentically, that it becomes a tremendous instrument for perceiving reality. The central narrative poem is compelling as a story while keeping the lyrical note. Here is a book capable of reminding readers how fundamental an art poetry can be. The unanticipated final poem, on the thunderous first seven words of Genesis, confirms that this is a poet of the first order, and a volume of poetry to be savored and re-read.

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