‘The valley,’
A Poem by Jean Valentine

From the anthology Here: Poems for the Planet

April 22, 2019  By Jean Valentine

The valley
edge by edge
bare field by field
I walked through it through you

rain by rain
cold by cold
root absence
and the purposeful cold

Eye opened
but what is slow


From Here: Poems for the Planetedited by Elizabeth J. Coleman. Used with permission of Copper Canyon Press. Copyright © 2019 by Jean Valentine.

Jean Valentine
Jean Valentine
Jean Valentine was born in Chicago and earned her BA from Radcliffe College. Her first book of poems, Dream Barker and Other Poems, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award in 1965. She is the author of over a dozen collections of poetry, including The River at Wolf (1992); Little Boat (2007); Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965–2003, which won the National Book Award; Break the Glass (2010), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Shirt in Heaven (2015). A longtime resident of New York City, Valentine served as the State Poet of New York from 2008 to 2010. She has taught at Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, and the 92nd Street Y in New York. She has been awarded a Bunting Institute Fellowship, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Shelley Memorial Prize, the Wallace Stevens Award, and the 2017 Bollingen Prize for American Poetry.

More Story
Walt Whitman Had Some Thoughts on Sex Toward the end of Walt Whitman's life, the writer Horace Traubel visited him often at his home in Camden, New Jersey, and recorded...

Become a Lit Hub Supporting Member: Because Books Matter

For the past decade, Literary Hub has brought you the best of the book world for free—no paywall. But our future relies on you. In return for a donation, you’ll get an ad-free reading experience, exclusive editors’ picks, book giveaways, and our coveted Joan Didion Lit Hub tote bag. Most importantly, you’ll keep independent book coverage alive and thriving on the internet.