Two Poems

By Rae ArmantroutDecember 30, 2018

Two Poems
These poems appear in the latest issue of the LARB Print Quarterly Journal: No. 20  Childhood

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The critics say
we’ve finally begun to move
from solipsism
to futility.

It’s true
that standing still
is exhausting.


As a way out
of myself
(and into someone near me),

more gripping
than vampire stories,
more realistic
than falling in love,

I watch toddlers
form thoughts
and act on them.


What Follows

It’s a good thing

mind’s distributed.

“It wasn’t me,”

one says,


“I haven’t died.”


Each tract,

thus bracketed,


for what precedes,

what follows.


I accept defeat.

To accept defeat
is to regress,

to go back
where you came from.

This may be
the fountain of youth!

I claim it
for myself.



Rae Armantrout is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. Her book Wobble was a finalist for 2018 National Book Award.

LARB Contributor

Rae Armantrout’s most recent books, Versed, Money Shot, Just Saying, Itself, Partly: New and Selected Poems, and Entanglements (a chapbook selection of poems in conversation with physics), were published by Wesleyan University Press. In 2010, her book Versed won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and The National Book Critics Circle Award. Wobble is a new volume of her poems. She is recently retired from UC San Diego where she was professor of poetry and poetics. She currently lives in the Seattle area.


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