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Kay Ryan

(b. 1945– )

U.S. poet and educator and sixteenth Poet Laureate of the United States

“There could be nutrients
in failure—
deep amendments
to the shallow soil
of wishes.
Think of the
dark and bitter
flavors of
black ales
and peasant loaves.
Think of licorices.
Think about
the tales of how
Indians put fishes
under corn plants.
Next time hope
relinquishes a form,
think about that.”

—Kay Ryan, “Failure 2,” in The Best of It: New and Selected Poems (New York: Grove Press, 2010), 202.

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