Jack Spicer Poems
- “any Fool Can Get Into An Ocea... Any fool can get into ...
- Thing Language This ocean, humiliating in its ...
- Sporting Life The trouble with comparing a poet with a radio ...
- A Red Wheelbarrow Rest and look at this goddamned ...
- For Mac A dead starfish on a beach He has five ...
- One Night Stand Listen, you silk-hearted bastard, I said in ...
- Psychoanalysis: An Elegy What are you thinking about? I am...
Jack Spicer was an American poet often identified with the San Francisco Renaissance. In 2009, My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer won the American Book Award for poetry.
Life and Work
Spicer was born in Los Angeles where he later graduated from Fairfax High School in 1942, and attended the University of Redlands from 1943-45. He spent most of his writing-life in San Francisco and spent the years 1945 to 1955 at the University of California, Berkeley, where he began writing, doing work as a research-linguist, and publishing some poetry (though he disdained publishing). During this time he searched out fellow poets, but it was through his ... more »
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“any Fool Can Get Into An Ocean . . .”
Any fool can get into an ocean
But it takes a Goddess
To get out of one.
What’s true of oceans is true, of course,
Of labyrinths and poems. When you start swimming
Through riptide of rhythms and the metaphor’s seaweed
You need to be a good swimmer or a born Goddess
To get back out of them
Look at the sea otters bobbing wildly
Out in the middle of the poem
They look so eager and peaceful playing out there where the
water hardly moves
You might get out through all the waves and rocks
Into the middle of the poem to touch them
But when you’ve ...