Literature 7-28-2009

mnLIT presents: Darci Schummer

This week's mnLIT-winning poem, "Archaeology" by Darci Schummer, was selected by What Light juror, poet Deborah Keenan.

What Light winner Darci Schummer
mnLIT: What Light Poetry Project and the miniStories flash fiction competition


Behind the backyard,
but before the alfalfa field

lay the undefined terrain where
the soil was heavy, made of orange clay.

We were always digging,
but for what?

Names, stories, once removed by dirt,
twice by religion, three times by silence.

You found a doll’s head,
an ink bottle,

a rotting shoe.
Of course there was always

the dead bird. The one
neither buried, nor bared

that we watched year after year
with reverence,

until finally, there was
nothing left.


Juror commentary: “Archaeology” was selected by What Light juror Deborah Keenan, who writes, “This poem does many things beautifully. Large, important words — religion, reverence, stories, names, silence — are introduced effortlessly into the poem. The collective voice includes us all in the mystery of what we bury, what we find, and what we decide to treat with reverence and respect.”

About the poet: Darci Dawn Schummer is a graduate of Hamline University’s MFA program. She primarily writes short fiction, but she enjoys the challenge of writing poetry.  And she enjoys letting a good poem roll over her while she walks along a coastline, strolls through a park, or sits beneath tree.  She teaches English at Globe University.

About her poetry, Schummer writes: “What I find so fascinating about poetry is its economy, its attention to word choice.  I have tried to cultivate the poet’s eye, paying careful attention to each word I choose, no matter what genre I’m working in. Attempting this cultivation has been invaluable to me as a writer. As a teacher, I incorporate poetry into my lessons to show my students the difference that one word can make.”

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