Arts & Culture · Poetry

Poetry Sunday: “It Was So Warm Inside”

Before, there were harts in diptychs, and odes written on Grecian urns. That was all before Lucie Brock-Broido danced a magic figure across the Winter Sonnet. Brock-Broido’s latest book, Stay, Illusion, builds a fire for the spirit. Kindling vanishes as the poet writes her heart out.


Medieval Warm Time

Before the Iron Curtain, before the sadder
Century, the one I was born into as
A little Cosmonaut, creeping in bomb shelters
With Mr. White, the school custodian
Who shoveled the coal while I occupied the alcove
Of my ways, it was so warm inside.
That ice age was a little one, a few hundred years about
One thousand years ago. That was all before buttons
And their holes had been considered closure,
Before there was a left shoe from the right.
My mother’s hair was ginger-colored, somewhere where
It’s even colder than it will ever be again.
Everything I ever wished for—
A Dalmatian bounding spotted through the snow.


Excerpted from  Stay, Illusion by Lucie Brock-Broido. Copyright © 2013 by Lucie Brock-Broido. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


Broc_9780307962027_cvr_ap_r2Lucie Brock-Broido is the author of four collections of poetry: A Hunger, The Master Letters, Trouble in Mind, and, most recently Stay, Illusion, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. She is Director of Poetry in the School of the Arts at Columbia University, and lives in New York City and in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Photo credit: Karen Meyers


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