The Fall 2009 cover of The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review

Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review
No. 35, Winter 2009

The Winter 2009 issue of The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review features new poems by Robert Wrigley, Carl Phillips, Regan Good, Maurice Manning, Kate Daniels, Lawrence Raab, the acclaimed Scottish poet John Burnside, and many others. We are also proud to inaugurate what will become a regular feature in the journal, an essay/interview hybrid called 4x4. Four contributors respond at length to four questions posed by the journal; this year's respondents are Regan Good, Lawrence Raab, Dan O'Brien, and John Burnside.


Martin Arnold
John Burnside
Richard Cecil
Peter Cooley
Jim Daniels
Kate Daniels
Blas Falconer
Jeff Friedman
Regan Good
Jessica Greenbaum
Luke Hankins
Alexis Levitin
Maurice Manning
Roger Mitchell
Philip Murray
Dan O'Brien
Carl Phillips
Manuel Gónzalez Prada
Lawrence Raab
G.J. Racz
Antonio Ramos Rosa
Eric Paul Shaffer
Richard Spilman
Rhett Iseman Trull
Sidney Wade
David Wagoner
Robert Wrigley

One Bee Escapes the Ether and Grubs What's Left of Air

by Regan Good

Across the darkling yard, the black bell sounds.

The high note's tone's caught wide inside the open mouth,
then darkens as its swung around-
Like a baby laughing on a swing,
Silly, giddy, up!—then sickened, dizzy, down.

I have a bee inside my fist, hot and furious.
Its stinger's here, still thrumming in my fingers.

I'd waved a stick around my head then tried to crush it with a rock.
So it sent its stinger in, sent its hook into my hand—

Now it grubs a circle in my palm.

I push it so it walks. I lift the needle off the skip.
I push it forward so its path is straight and living.

I think you are a Queen and cannot be transformed.

Ten times I've pushed you and still you crawl to die.
The pity is in the grunt's desire and no promised otherwise.

Negative equation under the persistent sun,
Creation is not good or bad but chaos.

One bee escapes the ether to grub what's left of air—

My Hands in Winter

by Jessica Greenbaum

Their backs, when flat, are like the ice of lakes
on which the wind has skated all these years
recording in a trawling script their work
in bare reconnaissance: to fish for keys
in blowing snow, or hotly sunk, to test
the bath and wash a life of pots. Within
the mesh of figure 8s now scrawled around
our joints are also etched initials of
the loves we lifted, then watched walk, held close
and when our time ran out, let go. Time flowed
like water through our hands and so the words,
hello, goodbye, are dyed below their ice
like watermarks a sheet of paper names
when raised, as waving hands are, to the light.

Loved and Lost

by John Burnside

Give me a childhood again and I will live
as owls do, in the moss and curvature

of nightfall
but never really seen,

tracking the lane
to a house I have known from birth

through goldenrod
and alstroemeria;

while somewhere,
at the far edge of the day,

a pintailed duck
is calling to itself

across a lake,
                    the answer it receives

no more or less remote than we become
to one another,

then set aside till we admit

that love divulged is barely love at all:
only the slow decay of a second skin

concocted from the tinnitus of longing.