Lisa Russ Spaar is a professor and director of Creative Writing and director of the Area Program in Poetry Writing in the Department of English in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia. Her poetry collections include Vanitas, Rough; Satin Cash; Blue Venus; and her forthcoming work, Madrigalia: New and Selected Poems (Persea Books, 2021). Spaar has edited several anthologies and books of essays, including the recent Monticello in Mind: Fifty Contemporary Poems on Jefferson.
A scrutiny, a scolding, in ruffian row,
this dive-bombing murder of crows.
Crow from the Italian cornice—a jutting—
outcome of Grecian korōnís,
crooked, as in hawk beak, all those Medieval
plague doctors hurrying in hook-nosed masks,
bearing clove-stuck oranges
against disaster’s miasmic stench.
How not see the COVID in CORVID?
But also, in both, the poet Ovid,
exiled until death for “a poem and a mistake,”
transformations, the tongue-cut nightingale,
flesh creeping into bark, winged bruises emitting
crawl, crawl. Until we must believe it.
…………………………………….(c) Lisa Russ Spaar, 2021
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