Dennis Nurkse

(Brooklyn / United States)

Dennis Nurkse
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Nurkse is the son of the eminent economist Ragnar Nurkse. He has taught workshops at Rikers Island, and his poems about prison life appeared in The American Poetry Review, Evergreen Review, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, TriQuarterly, The Kenyon Review, and other magazines. He has taught at The New School University and Columbia University, and is currently on the faculty at Sarah Lawrence College. He has translated anonymous medieval and flamenco Spanish lyric poems and has written about the Spanish pastoral poems by contemporary Giannina Braschi. His work has appeared in The Evergreen Review, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, ... more »

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Best Poem of Dennis Nurkse

Only Child

I cradled my newborn daughter
and felt the heartbeat
pull me out of shock.
She didn't know
what her hands were:
she folded them. I asked her
was there a place
where there was no world.
She didn't know
what a voice was: her lips
were the shape of a nipple.

In the park the child says:
watch me. It will not count
unless you see. And she shows me
the cartwheel, the skip, the tumble,
the tricks performed at leisure in midair,
each unknown until it is finished.
At home she orders:
see me eat. I watch her
curl on herself, ...

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