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EN 232: Introduction to Poetry: Home

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“On Rain or Light or Joy”

Learn more about the MoMA Poetry Project Here!

Poet Jake Skeets' poem,
inspired by Sky Hopinka’s haunting video.

On Rain or Light or Joy
—After Sky Hopinka’s “I’ll Remember You as You Were, not as What You’ll Become”

Yes, I made it rain. At the horizon a broom or brume of light this is the rain, for which we kneeled to someone who came back from the dead1 so yes I made it rain (I am here, alive) so yes the rain comes through me and only me, every night, in fact /
The rain is a story of survival so once it stops so do I and so do you

But for now, take my hand lapping at the evening2, the light is raining

through accordion light the shadows of ghosts of ghosts
through accordion light an altar of or alter to windmill’s morning
through accordion light the absence of it
through accordion light a sentence sentence-ing

This is my face.

A liquor of light, a lacquer of it.
This is my face, an entire song of it

        Go my son, go and climb the ladder.
        Go my son, go and earn your feather.
        go my son, make your people proud of you.3

This is my body: loam, pond quiet, text contorted into a crane on water,
a sinew of light attached to another and to another and to beyond and has been and ever after / but for now, the wind crumbles into drought and evenings last longer, sometimes all night4 — a town breathing, cactus hum, panicgrass afoot (dancing, dancing, dying, dancing some more)

For now, go out and dream of joy, we know the labor of feeling it

1 see present joy present joy present joys, a mumer of it, enough to fill a stadium
2 take its hand, let go of mine
3 tsídii ga’ ayáásh dootlł’izhii
kogaa’ ashilłní
nídiidááh shitsoí
nahdéé hayíílłká shiłní
4 another name for morning, another name for joy

EN 232: Introduction to Poetry

This guide will provide resources for you to conduct academic research and literary analysis on poetry.

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