The politics of the times cry out for a poet of the political process. Maryann Corbett’s thirty-four years working for the Minnesota legislature—helping to make government more of the people than by the attorneys—steeps her poetry with scenery that is hidden to us mortal beings by design. The author of five collections, she earned her doctorate in English, specializing in medieval literature and linguistics.
No horn-rimmed lone intoner now. No grand
paterfamilias of evening news
shepherding watchers soberly toward views
moderate, monochrome, subdued, and bland.
Instead, kaleidoscopes! Mad movement crammed
down every microsecond. Wizards’ brews
of weird conspiracy. Passions cut loose
in danse-macabre musics of the damned
that dun a ceaseless reverb in the skull,
hissing permission: Feed the fire of your fear.
Enrobe yourself in judgment, its long pall
swaddling you tight. Declare that you despise.
Lean on your narrow life as on a prayer.
Believe your barefaced heart, knowing it lies.
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