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Lynn Levin's most recent collection of poems is The Minor Virtues. She is also the author of four previous collections of poems: Miss Plastique, Fair Creatures of an Hour, Imaginarium, and A Few Questions about Paradise (Loonfeather Press).

She is the translator, from the Spanish, of Birds on the Kiswar Tree by Odi Gonzales (2Leaf Press/University of Chicago Press). With Valerie Fox, she is the author of Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets, first and second editions (Texture Press). Lynn Levin’s poems, essays, translations, and short fiction have appeared in Rattle, Boulevard, Michigan Quarterly Review, Mandorla, Metamorphoses, JewishFiction.net, Cleaver, and many other journals and anthologies.

She teaches at Drexel University, and, for many years, she taught creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania. Lynn Levin was born in St. Louis, Missouri and lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Her website is lynnlevinpoet.com.


Training the Pea Tendrils

For this is my May pastime and like much of what I do

done with persistence and to no serious effect.

Yet moved by my craving for a pan—

many pans—of sautéed sugar snaps in June

I make scores of introductions, stooping to hook

the green curls of the pea tendrils onto the pea fence.

Are they grateful? Do they accept my help?

Of course, not! The least breeze incites them

flee my machinations. Then they fall

under their own weight, crawl over their neighbors

and throttle them. But given two weeks

some understanding rises in their veins. They go

hand over hand. They get the hang of it.

What a glorious white-flowered green cloth

they weave on the loom of the fence.

I would like a spring dress of it

and of the tender pods a supper.

© Ragged Sky Press