Home > Poetry > Angelus Novus
Published: Mon Nov 30 2020
Salman Toor, Fag Puddle with Candle, Shoe, and Flag (detail), 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, N.Y. Photo: Farzad Owrang.
Angelus Novus

Paul Klee, 1920

_Because I came / Blossoms opened
_ Line, curve, arc, angle, a New Angel

Freed from its stanchion
Cat’s cradle strung from wing fingers

_Because I went / Nothing threw its shadow / Over everything
_ Falling, or rising, bird toes hovering

Lion of Judah, blushes of peach and yellow
Scrolls for a mane, spine for a tabernacle

Dread messenger or dumbstruck witness
The Reich . . . armed to the teeth . . . yet hopeless

_To be an example
_ Of how a people should endure its downfall

_Thorn in the swelling fruit
_ Or, loose the worst

Lee Sharkey was the author of_ _Walking Backwards (Tupelo, 2016), _Calendars of Fire _(Tupelo, 2013), and five earlier books of poems, as well as a number of chapbooks. I Will Not Name It Except to Say, a collection of poems she completed in the last months of her life, will be published by Tupelo in spring 2021. Lee Sharkey died in her home in Portland, Maine, on October 18, 2020.

Back to top