Sister Sirens

“Clarity” – A poem by Moira Egan


for Joachim

The way they do, this storm’s brought clarity
and coolness to the air, and seeming calm.
Hardly a day to muse on one’s mortality,
the sun this bright, the breeze faintly embalmed
with sage, rosemary, jasmine, and pine tar.
I think Monet, half-blind, would’ve loved this lake,
its morning jade, the afternoon sapphire,
night’s wavy onyx catching the moon’s wake.

I know that the alternative is cold
and darkly permanent, and so despite
the minor aches of starting to grow old,
I’m trying to fashion ways to celebrate
the scintillant of silver, each fine line,
the tiny crow’s-feet tracks that mark my time.



From Hot Flash Sonnets Passager Books, 2013

From Hot Flash Sonnets
Passager Books, 2013


Born in Baltimore and now a longtime resident of Rome, Italy, Moira Egan earned a BA from Bryn Mawr College, an MA from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars, and an MFA from Columbia University. Her Bar Napkin Sonnets (2009) won the 2008 Ledge Poetry Chapbook Competition. She is the author of the collections Cleave (2004); La Seta della Cravatta / The Silk of the Tie (2009), a bilingual collection with Italian translations by her husband, Damiano Abeni; Spin (2010); and Hot Flash Sonnets (2013).  With Abeni and Joseph Harrison, Egan has also published a translation of John Ashbery’s poems—Un mondo che non può essere migliore: Poesie Scelte 1956–2007 (2008).  With Clarinda Harriss, Egan co-edited the anthology Hot Sonnets (2011).  Egan has taught at John Cabot University and the Summer Program at St. Stephen’s School in Rome. She was a resident at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center.

Moira Egan

Moira Egan

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