Poet’s Corner


Her Destruction
From Wallace Stevens’ ‘Poetry is a Destructive Force’
Submitted by Fan Ogilvie

Just to go the short distance to
the fish store or was it the hardware
store or the birdseed dog food plant
store should she take the dog who limps
should she take her phone her list a coat
should she count the leaves amassed on
the windshield all which look like leather
should she back up to go forward down
the leaf covered dirt road should she notice
the brightest sunshine on everything not
in the shade it’s fall time of the full
blood moon mixing day with night
twenty deer on the field for cocktails
aperitifs at 4:00 males challenge antlers
yearlings run outside their mothers’ bounds
stay close on this safe field you beauties
I am starting the car in great distraction like

the earth at this point perhaps the cosmos
off the farm and farm road where there
is great latitude for order: keys are there
dog is back there radio is set
phone is there purse is there beside
me seat belt is buckled as car moves
off the road to one of the big fields
ok pay attention you are entering
public space public road and it moves
your heart beat each time not comfortably
as soon as you go you think where is my
list and you look for a yellow postem on
the floor of the passenger’s seat not
a good idea the car swerves to the right
down a dip in the road somewhat out
of control: fero— it could kill a woman
a dog, a deer, a skunk, a raccoon.

Wallace Stevens was a master American modernist poet and is considered one of the most prolific poets of the 20th century. His collection of poems published in 1955 earned him the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

Fan Ogilvie has published two books of poems, “You” and “Easinesses Found,”; several chapbooks, including “The Other Side of the Hill” and “In this Place”; and a memoir, “Knot a Life.” She is planning to publish a poetry dialogue between herself and Sappho. She lives in West Tisbury with Robin Motherwell Ogilvie, her Irish Russell terrier, and her husband Donald. She facilitates the Cleaveland House Poets poetry workshop, and reads poems regularly at the M.V. Center for Living.

Poets with a connection to Martha’s Vineyard are encouraged to submit poems to Laura Roosevelt at ldroosevelt@gmail.com.