Barbara Ras (b. 1949 New Bedford, Massachusetts ) is an American poet, translator and publisher. Her most recent poetry collection is The Last Skin (Penguin Books, 2010), which was preceded by One Hidden Stuff (Penguin Books, 2006), and her first collection is Bite Every Sorrow (Louisiana State University Press, 1998).
She graduated from Simmons College, and University of Oregon. She taught writing at Warren Wilson College.
She has been on the editorial staffs of Wesleyan University Press, the University Press of New England, the University of California Press, North Point Press and Sierra Club Books. She was Senior Editor acquiring environmental books for the University of Georgia... more »
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You Can'T Have It All
But you can have the fig tree and its fat leaves like clown hands
gloved with green. You can have the touch of a single eleven-year-old finger
on your cheek, waking you at one a.m. to say the hamster is back.
You can have the purr of the cat and the soulful look
of the black dog, the look that says, If I could I would bite
every sorrow until it fled, and when it is August,
you can have it August and abundantly so. You can have love,
though often it will be mysterious, like the white foam
that bubbles up at the top of the bean pot over the red kidneys