Poem introduction

Until recently I lived in England's Lane and opposite our flat there was a service wash, and sometimes I talked to the lady who was officiating. This is dedicated to her.

Urban Lyric

Urban Lyric

The gaunt lady of the service wash
stands on the threshold and blinks in the sunlight.

Her face is yellow in its frizz of hair
and yet she smiles as if she were fortunate.

She listens to the hum of cars passing
as if she were on a country lane in summer,

or as if the tall trees edging this
busy street scattered blessings on her.

Last month they cut a cancer out of her throat.
This morning she tastes sunshine in the dusty air.

And she is made alert to the day's beauty,
as if her terror had wakened poetry.


from Collected Poems and Translations (Carcanet Press, 2002), copyright © Elaine Feinstein 2002, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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Recordings

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1Father

2Dad

3Song of Power

4Marriage

5Anniversary

6Onion

7Out of Touch

8Renaissance Feb. 7

9From The Celebrants

10By the Cam

10Patience

12June

13England

14Urban Lyric

15Annus Mirabilis 1989

16Getting Older

17Insomnia

18Eclipse

19Bonds

20Wheelchair

21Mother

22Gold

23Living Room

24Casualty

25Prayer for my Son

26Bells

27From Poem of the End

28An Attempt at Jealousy

29Two

11Patience

Books by Elaine Feinstein