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Five Penances: Penance II

TFTL Lisa Speidel headshot 2

Lisa Russ Spaar is a Professor of English and Creative Writing in UVA's Department of English in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Professor Spaar's poetry collections include Vanitas, RoughSatin Cash; and Blue Venus. Her recent novel is Paradise Close. She has edited several anthologies and books of essays, including the recent Monticello in Mind: Fifty Contemporary Poems on Jefferson. Her most recent collection of poetry is entitled, Madrigalia:  New & Selected Poems. In celebration of National Poetry Month, Professor Spaar is sharing her poems: Five Penances with readers of Thoughts From the Lawn. 



Five Penances: Penance II


Penance II


Inside my shoes, the sharp stone

   of pleasure shows me the way

my shadow crosses, then disappears


into divinity—mark of me

   absorbed by sun that inches up

the measured hours of my spine,


tenderly, loving each hobbled bone,

   each link and chain,

then soaring beyond the reach of words.


©  Lisa Russ Spaar

From Blue Venus (Persea Books, 2004)



TFTL Penance II artwork
Oil on Panel by Richard Crozier, Professor Emeritus,
Department of Art in UVA's College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences