Colorado’s Poet Laureate Presents Reading at Colorado State University

Note to Editors: Attached is a poem by Crow first published in "Ploughshares" Fall 2001, Volume 27 numbers two and three.

Colorado’s poet laureate will present a poetry reading at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Lory Student Center, Room 230, as part of Colorado State University’s Fall Reading Series.

Mary Crow, an English professor at Colorado State who has read poetry throughout the country and abroad, will present an array of her works.

Crow has published several collections of poetry including "I Have Tasted the Apple," "Borders" and "The High Cost of Living," a chapbook based on a residency Crow held in the Czech Republic that won a contest. Crow also has published translations of poetry in magazines such as "The American Poetry Review," "Denver Quarterly" and "The American Voice." A new collection of Crow’s translations of poetry that won an award from the Lannan Foundation, "Engravings Torn from Insomnia: Selected Poems by Olga Orozco," will be out by late October.

As Colorado’s poet laureate, Crow has presented poetry workshops across the state, brought foreign writers to Colorado State and developed projects to put poems in local buses.

Crow has received three Fulbright awards as well as poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Colorado Council on the Arts. She was named Colorado’s poet laureate in 1996.

The reading series is sponsored by Colorado State’s Department of English and the Organization of Graduate Student Writers through the Associated Students of Colorado State University. The reading is free and open to the public.

"The Morning of the Morning"

Why let it matter so much? The morning’s morningness,
early dark modulating into light
and the tall thin spruces jabbing their black outlines at dawn,
light touching the slope’s outcroppings of rock and yellow grass,
after the world Descartes shattered,
a monstrous fracture
like the creek’s water surging through broken ice.

A silent wind bounces spruce branches
in that motion that sets molecules vibrating latitude by latitude
to crack the absolute
of feeling, of knowing what I know, of knowing who I am,
while down the road the town wakes to hammer and saw-
a sound that says to some, if you don’t grow you’re dead-
and then further down the elk and deer gather
at a farmer’s fence for his handout of hay.

Late January: just outside Rocky Mountain National Park:
a high branch of ponderosa offers a rosette
of needles blackgreen and splayed as in a Japanese scroll painting,
which is beautiful if I focus there and not on the sprawl I’m part of
in this rented condo where I don’t want to live since I, too, need
more rooms to haul my coffee to, more bookshelves for books
I haven’t time to read -bird chatter!-I shouldn’t make one more resolution
I can’t keep to spend more time with friends.

But it’s morning and morning’s my time of day
as spring’s my season; more light, I say.
I do regret some things I’ve done and if I could,
I’d do things differently: start sooner, say, look deeper.
One flake of snow drifts down slantwise,
a lovely interruption to my tirade-
as each aspen is to the larger groves of taller firs-
and brings me back to what’s happening here.

Tires rumble as a jeep passes,
rumble that in hours will crescendo into a roar
and, down on the plains, into that background drone
I don’t hear even when I hear it penetrating my walls and sleep
because I’ve learned -haven’t you?-to live without one square inch
of silence. But it’s morning light filling the skies if you’re up to see it,
sky washed white with thin clouds
the ground white with last night’s snow.

–Mary Crow
"Ploughshares" Fall 2001, Volume 27 Numbers Two and Three