Poet, critic, and translator G. E. Patterson grew up along the Mississippi River and was educated in the mid-South, the Midwest, the Northeast, and the western United States.
His collections of poetry include To and From (Ahsahta Press, 2008), and his first book, Tug (1999), won the Minnesota Book Award.
Patterson's awards include fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Cave Canem, the Djerassi Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the Minnesota State Arts Board.
After living in the Northeast and on the West Coast, he now makes his home in Minnesota, where he teaches. more »
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G.E. Patterson Poems
I had everything and luck: Rings of smoke blown for me; sunlight safe inside the leaves of cottonwoods; pure, simple harmonies of church music, echoes of slave songs; scraps
The Responsibility of Love
Where you are now, the only lights are stars and oil lamps flaring on vine-covered porches. Where you are now, it must be midnight. No one has bothered to name all the roads
It May Happen
According to their signs we're in the country Far off things are being put on the record Where it may not matter to anyone If the shadows hide themselves behind rain
Comments about G.E. Patterson
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
I had everything and luck: Rings of smoke
blown for me; sunlight safe inside the leaves
of cottonwoods; pure, simple harmonies
of church music, echoes of slave songs; scraps
of candy wrappers -- airborne. Everything.
Mother and father, brother, aunts, uncles;
chores and schoolwork and playtime. Everything.
I was given gloves against winter cold.
I was made to wear gloves when I gardened.
I was made to garden; taught to hold forks
in my left hand when cutting, in my right
when bringing food to my mouth. Everything.
I had clothes I was told not to wear...