Featured Poem II • July 2014

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Bearing Witness

 

Jane Yolen

 
 

We have all had the teeth at our throats. Even you, princess, gnawed by time, and the memory of the weight of crowns. Even you, hero of the moment, your sword and sword-hand still red with a stranger’s blood. Even you, storyteller, myth-maker, wind-writer, the stained fonts of your reviews before you, your best work like a long tail behind. The teeth marks may be invisible, but still they ache. We all need to own the story of our lives, bear witness, weep down the moon, iterate, move on.

 

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Jane YolenJane Yolen, often called “the Hans Christian Andersen of America,” is the author of over 350 published books, including Owl Moon, The Devil’s Arithmetic, and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?. The books range from rhymed picture books and baby board books, through middle grade fiction, poetry collections, nonfiction, and up to novels and story collections for young adults and adults. She has won two Nebulas, a World Fantasy Grand Master Award, and been named a Grand Master of sf/fantasy poetry by the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Six colleges and universities have given her honorary doctorates, and her Skylark Award—given by NESFA (the New England Science Fiction Association)—set her good coat on fire.

About her poem in this issue, Jane says, “I have been writing a poem a day for four years, and the last two years been sending them out to subscribers, some 400 people who have signed up to receive them in exchange for once a month either buying a book of mine or (as most have opted for) borrowing one from the library. ‘Bearing Witness’ was one of those poems. Suddenly one day I realized I had a bunch of poems that could be the beginning of a book of Sleeping Beauty poems that I’m calling Hedge/Briar/Rose. I’m still writing those, but also sending out individual poems to magazines and journals, which is how ‘Bearing Witness’ found its way to Mythic Delirium.

 

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