Featured Poetry: "Winter Funeral" by Elizabeth Hazen
Fully embracing what the lyric mode does best, Hazen provides the readers with brief, intense poems that preserve a suspended moment in time, attempting to record the thought processes and emotions of the speaker much like tree rings reveal drought, heat, and age. With astonishing clarity and concision, Hazen explores the mysteries of our realities—which are ultimately beholden to entropy. —Charlotte Pence, Kenyon Review
The embouchure opens to the unknown
of ocean, the horizon’s deceptive line.
It unfolds to plain, the lowest point
rising to action, unraveling grasses,
dirt, invisible distance. It presses
an estuary of breath through pursed lips,
tensed cheek and jaw, a practiced tongue.
We have heard this all before. One needs
structure to produce proper notes.
Cold intensifies error. My father
clasps his trumpet in his coat, warms up
the muscles in his face. Valves can only
do so much. Even the heart, pumping
faithfully, grows tired, but no note breaks,
no rest lingers in this space between breath
and music, this plot and what comes next.
Elizabeth Hazen is a poet and essayist whose work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2013, Southwest Review, The Threepenny Review, The Normal School, and other journals. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Yale and her master’s from The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins. She teaches English at Calvert School in Baltimore, Maryland. Chaos Theories is her first book.
More From Elizabeth Hazen
This is no modern tradition, says Elizabeth Hazen. It is not only now that humans ornament their dead with flowers. “See,” she says in her rumination on tradition and humanity, Burial at Shanidar, “Even from a distance we dream of gardens where there should be stone.” And on Christmas especially, it is so wonderful to curl up with a book of poetry, even to read out-loud to one’s family, and bask in the ways we make words, just like the long winter days of dark, meaningful with light and tradition.
Elizabeth Hazen sits down with Elizabeth Spires to discuss her new Poetry Collection, “A Memory of the Future” Two well-educated poets, clear admirers of one another’s work, and denizens of Baltimore sit for what must have been a rigorous yet pacific cup of tea. Hazen, author of Chaos Theories, gives a short review of […]
Elizabeth Hazen’s “Thanatosis” selected for Best American Poetry 2013, an interview and debrief In 2013 “Thanatosis”, a poem from Elizabeth Hazen’s debut collection Chaos Theories, was selected for publication in Best American Poetry. B. Boyd of The Baltimore Fishbowl sat down with Elizabeth to discuss the honor and to chronicle her evolving relationship with science, poetry, […]
Elizabeth Hazen Reads “Maxwell’s Demon” Hazen has a way of uncovering universal feelings that resonate, even if we haven’t experienced her particular grief or confusion. Gabriella Souza “By dint of his prodigious intelligence and dexterity, the goblin could cause things to happen that are never seen to occur in nature, things that seemed able to […]
Lessons From a Turtle by Elizabeth Hazen Once at the National Zoo, I watched a pair of giant tortoises copulating, the sound that emanated from their habitat like a sleeper’s distress in the midst of a confusing dream. My son wondered what the matter was. All of the children wondered, the older ones with a […]