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  • Sam Ferrante

backyard song, Diane Seuss

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/92047/backyard-song


Listen, I LOVE Diane Seuss' work. Four-Legged Girl changed my whole goddamn life. I love her crackly sounds, those consonants, the amount of tooth in most of her work. So when I was trying to find something I hadn't read yet, I was a little surprised when I stumbled across this poem. Same conversational tone; same generosity to other characters in the speaker's world (we end with a wisdom snippet from the mother). But there's something quietly growing in this poem, whereas a lot of Seuss' work feels thistle-burst sharp and erratic to me.


All of this is to say that I really like how much the poet wrings out of two images here, the "bottled life" and the frontyard/backyard dichotomy. I like thinking about the privilege of privacy and wildness and how comfort looks like things left untamed.

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