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American life in poetry

SUNDAY, SEPT. 4, 2005

In this short poem by Vermont writer Jean L. Connor, an older speaker challenges the perception that people her age have lost their vitality and purpose.

Connor compares the life of such a person to an egret fishing. Though the bird stands completely still, it has learned how to live in the world, how to sustain itself, and is capable of quick action when the moment is right.

Of Some Renown

For some time now, I have

lived anonymously. No one

appears to think it odd.

They think the old are,

well, what they seem. Yet

see that great egret

at the marsh’s edge, solitary,

still? Mere pretense

that stillness. His silence is

a lie. In his own pond he is

of some renown, a stalker,

a catcher of fish. Watch him.


 

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