Experiment in Divination: Voice and Character

There is a curiosity that knows

I know


deathless ceiling of unknowing

I know




Who I ask

is changing


all the time



now changed.


How else is one to know


How is one to know how to proceed


the course of action


a non-reflective surface


a playing card on a wooden picnic table

a knot of knowing on a node of playing


How is one to know


How else is one to know how to proceed


How is one to make the motion against



And there's forever

and that's a mighty long time.



Copyright � 2013 by Rebecca Wolff. Used with permission of the author.  

About This Poem
"This is one of a group or series of 'Experiments in Voice and Character'; it is either the first or the last, I haven't decided, but so far it is the only one that announces its thematic material in its title. The divinatory practice it concerns itself with is the reading of cards; it concerns itself with longing for an answer when we cannot have an answer, the intense longing that provokes a certainty that there is a way of knowing if only we had it. And then we do.

--Rebecca Wolff

Most Recent Book by Wolff

(W. W. Norton, 2010)







August 7, 2013

Rebecca Wolff's third collection of poems is The King (W. W. Norton, 2010). Wolff is the founder and editor of the journal Fence. She lives in Athens, New York.
Related Poems
by David Hernandez
by Robert Duncan
by Cynthia Hogue
Launched during National Poetry Month in 2006, Poem-A-Day features new and previously unpublished poems by contemporary poets on weekdays and classic poems on weekends. Browse the 

Thanks for being a part of the Academy of American Poets community. To learn about other programs, including National Poetry Month, Poem in Your Pocket Day, the annual Poets Forum, and more, visit Poets.org.