12. Rae Armantrout, "The Way"

Rae Armantrout has been called the Emily Dickinson of our time. "The Way" is typical of Armantrout's style: succinct, dense, full of multivalent words, non-narrative, open-ended. The first lines of the poem consist of overheard phrases, but the "I" that begins the final eight lines seems to be the poet herself. What do those final lines have to say about the way we, as children, first learn to hear stories, and why might a child recall this as an abandonment?

1. read the poem: link to text
2. listen to Armantrout perform the poem: link to PennSound audio
3. listen to three poets in a 30-minute discussion of the poem: link to PoemTalk

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