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Carol Stevens Kner ’58

Alumnae Poet

Carol Stevens Kner

Following her graduation from Smith in 1958, Carol Kner served for many years as managing editor and staff writer at PRINT Magazine. She has studied with Richard Howard, Marie Ponsot, Molly Peacock, and Richard Wilbur. Her poems have appeared in Western Humanities Review, The Paris Review, North American Review, Southwest Review, The Dark Horse and other journals. Her chapbook, Exposure, was published by Toadlily Press. Her first collection, “Falling out of Step,” a portrait of marriage before and after the onset of Parkinson’s disease, is looking for a publisher.

Select Poems

Eight p.m. eastern finds the Marshallin 

and her Octavian in langorous dis-

array live at the Met,

          while sky cam

lays before us, seven central, in all

its deftly groomed detail (the curving track

from first to third as graceful as a farth-

ingale) Progressive Field where Cleveland hosts

the Yankees in midsummer play.

    They kiss—

the lovers—banter and delay, a throng

collecting in the hall: the Baron Ochs

with his jeweled box, rival petitioners

to fawn and plead, orphans, hairdresser, cook,

a tenor with a serenade

  and at

the field, a hot-dog special and the tense

prospect of A-Rod’s six-hundredth home run

attract a record crowd, who watch Cleveland

score first. But in the third A-Rod’s sac fly

chalks up a transient tie

  while PBS

presents the princess benching oafish Ochs

to designate Octavian pinch runner

with the silver rose. It seems a kind 

of sacrifice, as chancy as a lead-

off walk.

    Now in the sixth the captain hits

to center and Brett Gardner scores. The Yankees

lead 2-1,

    Octavian dazzles Sophie,

knocks the baron out of play while earnest

as a third-base coach, the chaperone

sits by to keep her charge from stealing home.

Two outs dispirit and the fans want more.

New York breaks loose, hits seven in the seventh

and delayed somewhat by one more tenor

serenade, God bless, waltz on to join

the blow-out at the inn where Baron Ochs

bedeviled by Octavian’s pitching staff

strikes out and blusters off. The princess cedes

the field to youth; Octavian gets the win.

The Indians allowed twelve walks and put

position players on the mound. A-Rod’s

six hundredth waits still in the wings. Yeah, yeah

recaps the Yankees’ manager (ESPN), 

Tonight we saw a few strange things.



Published in Atlanta Review, Fall/Winter 2013