Poet Campbell McGrath: Seven Notebooks

The March 1 WSJ has an interview "Campbell McGrath on Poetry,Walt Whitman and Schaefer Beer," with the Florida International University faculty member and MacArthur genius grant recipient about his new book of poems out February 5 from Harper.

Ode to Inspiration

Then the imagination withdraws, drifts across the table
to investigate the glass flowers rolled in cloth tape.

It hovers, probes the petals, some like galaxies,
some like figs or seashells. Dutiful and penitent,

it shimmers back across the gulf of air,
without a metaphor, to doze away the afternoon.

Unseasonably hot day.

Imagination is the builder, the worker bee,
but inspiration is the queen.

And when she leaves me, where does she go
if not back to the hive to gorge on royal jelly,

back into her cave of winds, accumulating
density, growing richer and darker,

like mercury in the bloodstream,
like extravagant honey.