"Definition of Stranger"

"Definition of Stranger"

"Definition of Stranger"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Nov. 20 2007 7:35 AM

"Definition of Stranger"

Listen to  Idra Novey read this poem.

Person not a member of a group. A visitor, guest, or the breast that brushes your arm on the subway. Person with whom you've had no acquaintance but who's taken your rocking chair from the curbside and curls up in it and closes her eyes. Person in line behind you now, waiting for a glass of water, or of whiskey, of elixir. Person logging online at the same second from the Home Depot in Lima. Or in search of the Dalai Lama. Person not privy or party to a decision, edict, et cetera, but who's eaten from the same fork at the pizzeria and kissed your wilder sister on New Year's. Person assigned to feed the tiger at the zoo where you slipped your hand ********************** once into the palm of somebody else's father.

Idra Novey received a P.E.N. Translation Fund Award for her book of translations of Brazilian poet Paulo Henriques Britto, The Clean Shirt of It. Her first book of poems received the Kinereth Gensler Award from Alice James and will be published in fall 2008. She teaches at Columbia University.