Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: “The First Book,” by Rita Dove


The First Book

~ by Rita Dove


Open it.


Go ahead, it won’t bite.

Well…maybe a little.


More a nip, like. A tingle.

It’s pleasurable, really.


You see, it keeps on opening.

You may fall in.


Sure, it’s hard to get started;

remember learning to use


knife and fork? Dig in:

You’ll never reach bottom.


It’s not like it’s the end of the world—

just the world as you think


you know it.



From “On the Bus with Rosa Parks,” 1999, by Rita Dove.



The Center for Poetry opened in the fall of 2007 to encourage the reading, writing, and discussion of poetry and to create an awareness of the place and power of poetry in our everyday lives. We think about this in a number of ways, including through readings, shows, community outreach, and workshops. We are at work building a poetry community at MSU and in the greater Lansing area. Contact: (517) 884-1932

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