'While there is still some light on the page, I am writing now a history of snow'

entry picture

Allison C Rollins manages, in this striking poem, to contain the anxiety of those facing sightlessness, and the urgency they feel to try to preserve in memory, that which is fleeting. For her, the poem is a solace, for when spoken, it prolongs sight even for blind poets like Jorge Luis Borges. If we think of sight as more than just physical, we may get a glimpse of what Rollins may be saying in '“The Library of Babel,' about one of the peculiar purposes of art.



by Allison C Rollins

for Jorge Luis Borges


While there is still some light

on the page, I am writing now

a history of snow, of everything

that has been and will be thought.

When a blind poet says I need you

to be my eyes, they are asking to see

through your mouth.


American Life in Poetry is made possible by the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2019 by Alison C Rollins, “The Library of Babel” from Library of Small Catastrophes (Copper Canyon Press, 2019.) Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2022 by the Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Kwame Dawes, is George W Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska

◄ A Pocketful of Chalk: Claire Booker, Arachne Press

New performed poem category at Forwards next year 'to rebalance historical inequities' ►


No comments posted yet.

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message