Home > Poetry > The Letter I, that is, Small and Large
Published: Sat Jul 1 2006
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas
The Letter I, that is, Small and Large

_                            _The playwright says

He was trying to write a play that would get him killed.
Good Irish boy. Wants to be on top of the list

For death and dismemberment. True test of art.

No hands.

It’s March. The little girl in the blue dress comes in out of the rain.
She says it’s pouring down God in here. She uses

Capitals to establish boundaries.

I want an egg, she says. The letter I is small and large.
I am sight reading.

No hands.

She eats her egg spilling yellow
All over herself.

The mother, her arms full of day old bread, says if
My child learns what is sweet,

She will want it.


The title of the poem is taken from John Banville’s novel The Sea_._

Eva Hooker is Professor of English and Writer in Residence at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana. The Winter Keeper, a hand bound chapbook (Chapiteau Press, Montpelier, Vermont, 2000), was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in poetry in 2001. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The New England Review, AGNI, The Harvard Review, Salmagundi, Witness, Drunken Boat, and Best New Poets 2008. (updated 7/2009)

Back to top