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Stephen Dunn

Stephen Dunn

Stephen Dunn is the author of seventeen books of poems, including the latest Lines of Defense(Norton), Here and Now and What Goes On: Selected and New Poems 1995-2009. His Different Hours won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize. The Room and The World: Essays on the poet Stephen Dunn, edited by Laura McCullough, was issued by Syracuse University Press in December, 2013. He is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Richard Stockton College and lives in Frostburg, Maryland.

Impediment

The Loneliness thing is overdone.
—Edward Hopper, about responses to his work.
Except for shoes
the young woman is naked,
in a chair, looking out
a fully-opened window,
her face obscured
by dark brown hair.
Apartment? Hotel?
Outside, the obdurate gloom
of city buildings.

It's 11 A.M.,
Hopper's title says,
time for her to have dressed
a hundred times.
And it's the shoes which hint
of her desire to dress,
and of some great impediment.

Elbows on knees. Hands clasped.
The window she's leaning toward
is curtainless.
There's no sense she cares
she might be seen, nor
that she wishes to show herself.

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