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  Fanny Howe
Fanny Howe is the author of over twenty books of poetry and fiction, including the recently published,
Fanny Howe
Selected Poems (University of California Press, 2000) and Indivisible (Semiotext(e), 2000). She has won two NEA awards and the American Book Award for her novel Nod (Sun & Moon Press, 1998). Through the metaphysical, religious and ontological concerns of her work, we are reminded that there is an unbreachable chasm between the ways of the world and our ways of understanding the world. Howe is a professor of Writing and American Literature at the University of California at San Diego.

The Night Tree

Fanny Howe
Please give me a little more time

To learn my lesson in.

No more daydreaming!

No more mistakes!

I promise I will pay attention

If I have one more day

To learn my lesson in.

. . .

Did I walk that branch?
Did I hang from that lichen
Twig-green and barren?
Did I swing? Did I rough up
My hands and laugh?
Was I afraid when it was happening?
Was there an arm
To catch me—a gesture kinder
Than any teacher's?

It was the sycamore nothing more

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