Birthday. FedEx delivers gift: Hot off the press contributor copy. McGraw Hill’s Literature: Craft and Voice, anthology / text edited by Nicholas Delbanco and Alan Cheuse. Volume includes my poem, God is in the Cracks, title poem for the 2006 Black Moss Press book. God is in the Cracks will also appear in New & Selected forthcoming from Red Hen Press.
A textbook, Literature: Craft and Voice includes questions [to students] for Interactive Reading and Writing: Sample question follows:
"[Sward’s] poem contains informal dialogue reminiscent of a scene in a contemporary short story. Why doesn’t the poet give us the setting? Can you imagine a setting to go along with it?" That’s actually a fair question. Text of poem follows:
GOD IS IN THE CRACKS
“Just a tiny crack separates this world
from the next, and you step over it
God is in the cracks.”
Foot propped up, nurse hovering, phone ringing.
“Relax and breathe from your heels.
Now, that’s breathing.
So, tell me, have you enrolled yet?”
“In the Illinois College of Podiatry.” /
“Dad, I have a job. I teach.” /
“Ha! Well, I’m a man of the lower extremities.” /
“Dad, I’m forty-three.” /
“So what? I’m eighty. I knew you
before you began wearing shoes.
Too good for feet?” he asks.
“I. Me. Mind:
That’s all I get from your poetry.
Your words lack feet. Forget the mind.
Mind is all over the place. There’s no support.
You want me to be proud of you? Be a foot man.
Here, son,” he says, handing me back my shoes,
“try walking in these.
Arch supports. Now there’s a subject.
Some day you’ll write about arch supports.”
(Reprinted from God is in the Cracks, Black Moss Press, copyright © 2006, and now in its second printing). Read by Garrison Keillor on his show, Writers Almanac.
God is in the Cracks has feet. Question now is “Does it have legs??”
Causes Robert Sward Supports
Audubon Society, National Geographic, "Green," the Environment, SPCA...