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With Due Respect to Thor

by Heather McHugh

Between the brake and clutch
the shrinking dog has hidden.

In the world at large, black hours are being
pearled and shafted. Something had us once;

it seems to be having
a big idea again. A tree

stands out spectacularly
branched; the mind’s eye

grows alert. This god
can hurt. Do we need

to know more? Are we sure? He pours
nine bolts into the mountain’s brain.


Heather McHugh teaches as a core faculty member in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and as Milliman Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her most recent book is The Father of the Predicament (Wesleyan University Press, 1999), and she and her husband, Nikolai Popov, are currently translating a book of 101 poems by Paul Celan to be entitled Glottal Stop, due out this fall. (2000)

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