Peter Meinke


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Peter Meinke (born 1932) is an American poet and author. He has published 17 books of poems and short stories. The Piano Tuner, won the 1986 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. His poetry has received many awards, including 2 NEA Fellowships and 3 prizes from the Poetry Society of America. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, and other ... more »

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Best Poem of Peter Meinke

The First Marriage

for Gretchen and Herb: June 15, 1991


imagine the very first marriage a girl
and boy trembling with some inchoate
need for ceremony a desire for witness:
inventing formality like a wheel or a hoe

in a lost language in a clearing too far from here
a prophet or a prophetess intoned to the lovers
who knelt with their hearts cresting
like the unnamed ocean thinking This is true

thinking they will never be alone again
though planets slip their tracks and fish
desert the sea repeating those magic sounds
meaning I do on this stone below
this tree ...

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