Once (Paperback)

By Meghan O'Rourke

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393343946, 89pp.

Publication Date: March 11, 2013

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (10/3/2011)

List Price: 15.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


These poems are shadowed by illness, both civic and personal, and by the mysterious currents of grief. What emerges over the course of the volume is a meditation not only on a daughter's relationship with her mother but also on a citizen's to her nation. Throughout, Once examines the forces that shape war, divorce, and death, exploring personal culpability and charting uncertain new beginnings as the speakers seek to build homes in a shattered land and find whole selves amid broken, thwarted relationships.

from "Frontier"

. . . At times,
I felt sick, intoxicated
by BPA and mercury.
At other times I fasted and the stars
stumbled clear from the vault.
Up there, the universe stands around drunk.
I hope the Lord is kind to us,
for we engrave our every mistake . . .