Rebecca Foust was the 2014 Dartmouth Poet in Residence and is the recipient of fellowships from the Frost Place and the MacDowell Colony. Her fifth book, Paradise Drive, won the 2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry.
About its linked narrative, Thomas Lux says “There is great music in these poems, and sonnet after sonnet is masterful. Not since Berryman’s Henry have I been so engaged by a persona.” You can order Paradise Drive at http://www.press53.com. For information about readings, please visit http://rebeccafoust.com/.
Rebecca Foust talks about anaphora and second person in “Apologies to My OBGYN” and “Too Soon.”
Apologies to My OBGYN
by Rebecca Foust
Sorry that my boy birthed himself
too early, took up so much room
in your prenatal nursery
with his two pounds, two ounces
and did not oblige your nurses
with easy veins.
Sorry we were such pains in your ass
asking you to answer our night calls like that,
and that he did everything so backwards:
lost weight, gained fluid
blew up like a human balloon
Sorry about how he defied your prognoses,
skyrocketed premiums, weighted the costs
in your cost-benefit analyses,
skewed bell-curve predictions
into one long, straight line;
sorry he took so much of your time
being so determined to live. He spent
today saving hopeless-case nymph moths
trapped in the porch light, one matrix-dot
at a time, and now he’s asleep; blue wingbeat
pulse fluttering his left temple—there,
there again. Just like it did then.
[This poem first appeared in Margie, Vol. 6, Fall 2007, then in Dark Card, winner of the 2007 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize, then in All that Gorgeous Pitiless Song, winner of the 2010 Many Mountains Moving Book Prize. It can be read and heard online at http://www.fishousepoems.org/archives/rebecca_foust/apologies_to_my_obgyn.shtml ]
Writing Prompt: Write a poem in which the speaker addresses someone specific, using anaphora to help make a point.
Definition of Terms:
Anaphora is the repetition of a word(s) or phrase within a poem.
Second Person is the use of the pronoun “you” in a poem, creating the effect of a direct address to either the reader or a person defined within the poem.