Princeton professor (and alumna) Monica Youn has published the title poem of her new book, Blackacre (forthcoming from Graywolf Press), in the June edition of Poetry magazine. The long lyric sequence, an intense engagement with Milton’s 19th sonnet (On His Blindness), is also accompanied by an explanatory essay on the Poetry Foundation website. An excerpt follows below:
To stand and wait for the one who reaps where he has not sown.*Mercy sugars the starving soil with nitrogen, potassium, phosphate. Mercy captures rain in silver beads and stitches them through the threadbare weave of cloud. Mercy wields a scalpel cutting a cleft in the lopped-off stump, mercy forces home the rootless wand, mercy seals the join with tar and tape.*To foster the raw scion as if it were a son, to siphon light down through its body as if it were your own.