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A Conversation with Margaret Gibson

By Edward A. Dougherty Interview

Margaret Gibson is the author of eleven collections of poetry, most recently Broken Cup, and a memoir, The Prodigal Daughter. Her second book, Long Walks in the Afternoon, was a Lamont Selection (now the James Laughlin Award) of the Academy of American Poets in 1982, and Memories of the Future in 1986 was co-winner of…

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Night Thoughts

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

They’re on the move again, across the soundless moonlit snow, five deer single file along the narrow trail they deepen night after night with their heart-shaped hooves. Shivering, I watch them. Back in bed, in flannel up to my nose, I listen and listen. In my mind already the pipes have frozen and burst, water…

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Riverkeeper

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

Wanting to be that place where inner and outer meet, this morning I’m listening to the river inside, also to the river out the window, river of sun and branch shadow, muskrat and mallard, heron, and the rattled cry of the kingfisher. Out there is a tree whose roots the river has washed so often…

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Faith, Hope, Charity

By Margaret Gibson Essay

AMMA IS COMING to live in Richmond,” Mom announced one night at the dinner table. Elizabeth and I looked at each other quickly. Which of us would have to give up her bedroom? Immediately I began constructing an argument in my mind, listing the reasons why Elizabeth’s room would be more suitable for Amma—it was farther…

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Feature: Fully Human

By Multiple Authors Essay

Art and the Religious Sense To say that someone is “only human” is to say two things at once. We mean that person is flawed—and that this condition is no more than we should expect. Yet for all our awareness of human frailty and venality, we are haunted by visions of human flourishing, fullness rather…

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Taking the Byzantine Path to Monastiri Aghiou Ioannou

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

You let your feet decide how to walk it, andante or andantino— only allow your breathing to become what wind is in the eucalyptus, now a susurrus, now a slow erasure of distractions. Cries from the soccer field and the street noise in Skala dissolve in the attention the stones require you give each footfall.…

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Lessons

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

To cure the hard habit of anger, eat an orange so slowly the juice spills from your fingers and waters the wild gladioli that purple the stones on high Kastelli. To learn patience, go with Ritsa to the little stoa of a shop in Skala, where old Pandalis weighs the small bags of chickpeas and…

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What Is Offered

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

Early light brightens the blue shutters, overspilling the foot of the bed we sleep in. It is quiet yet…deep and tidal when I hear the light say, You will not be given to do everything you want. I remain quiet, as nearly poised as the edge of salt in the air that fills the room.…

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Broken Cup

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

I’ve forgotten how it broke, the great cause or the petty cause that cracked the handle into three pieces and left me without a cup for morning coffee. In the cabinet, there were others of white porcelain, with steeply elegant lines, cups that matched their saucers. But my cup was Mexican, squat, and as round…

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Blessing

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

I know a woman who, when she hears wise words uttered, turns her palms upward. She’s as likely to place her hands on my shoulders, to comfort. None of it for show. Palms upward, she’s a basin. Palms downward, a wellspring, rain. May we be basin and well to each other. May we be rainlight…

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