Two poems from Algonquin’s Sarah Rose Nordgren

Here at Algonquin, it’s no secret that most, if not all, of our staff members lead double lives outside of the office. Our team includes writers, marathon runners, bakers, painters, and bass players.

To showcase some of our hidden talents, and to support online literary magazines, Algonquin is proud to present two of Publicity Assistant Sarah Rose Nordgrun’s extraordinary poems, which were recently published in the amazing La Petite Zine. We’ve been re-reading these haunting poems for days on end. We think we have a future poet laureate in our midst.

–Megan Fishmann, Publicist


I’ve fallen in love with a bear
whose wooden claws aerate the great
fields. Every morning over coffee
I read my dreams from crumpled newsprint
while he lays the hammer on the table.
Across each tool we write the first
three objects it will meet, and our voices
sleep in the telephone cradle. So lucky
he and I: Our home is a small museum
of labor. Inchoate ripples expand
over fields for miles, making
concentric rings. Taking hours
at the shelves to choose from among
the labeled jelly jars, we can no longer
separate words from our work. The sounds
become less and less familiar. This
goes on long into the night: his dark
hair over candlelight, implements lined
on the yellow tablecloth, row upon row.


Hole to Place your Excellent Heart. Your Definitive Shape. Reed that Bends the Wind. Wind that Raises a Vault of Bread. Bread for the Millions. Your Transparent Center. Your Opaque. Willow, Willow, Willow. The Swinging Gate. Old Village Prison. Dust to Dust. Shield with Pentangle and Secret Virgin Mary. Nightmare of Ancestors. Living Specter. Everything on the Human Scale. Song for an Orderly Mind. Woodland Huddle. Cache of Promises. Acorn Stash. Treasured Chest. Where the Diamond was Lost from the Ring. Hungry Attic. One Hundred Christmases. Someone’s Childhood Memory. Another Perpetually Dying Body. The Sinking Ship. The Lonely Giant. Weathering Whale. Our Mother to the Baby. Broken Monument.

6 Comments On This Post:

February 24, 2011
11:58 am
Caroline Leavitt says...

Sarah! Not only are you a fabulous beyond belief publicity person, but you are a fantastic writer as well! I love, love, love these!

Caroline Leavitt

February 24, 2011
12:09 pm
Michael Northen says...

I love the lines, “We can no longer/ separate words from our work.” Sounds like words to keep close at hand when writing.

February 24, 2011
11:01 pm
Harpreet Singh says...

Dear Sarah! I am speechless and thinking about your state of mind more than your poems because i personally feel that a poet’s mind and soul deserves respect from every source..

February 24, 2011
11:54 pm
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February 25, 2011
9:25 am
Sarah R. says...

Thank you Caroline!

March 5, 2011
5:39 pm
Naomi Benaron says...

Dear Sarah,
How wonderful to find your secret life and your wonderful and brave poems. I, too, am in love with the bear.

Naomi Benaron

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