Fifth Grade Autobiography
I was four in this photograph fishing
with my grandparents at a lake in Michigan.
My brother squats in poison ivy.
His Davy Crockett cap
sits squared on his head so the raccoon tail
flounces down the back of his sailor suit.
My grandfather sits to the far right
in a folding chair,
and I know his left hand is on
the tobacco in his pants pocket
because I used to wrap it for him
every Christmas. Grandmother's hips
bulge from the brush, she's leaning
into the ice chest, sun through the trees
printing her dress with soft
I am staring jealously at my brother;
the day before he rode his first horse, alone.
I was strapped in a basket
behind my grandfather.
He smelled of lemons. He's died—
but I remember his hands.
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Comments about this poem (Fifth Grade Autobiography by Rita Dove )
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
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- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- If, Rudyard Kipling
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