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.

Published by cpoetrymsu

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: cpoetry@msu.edu (517) 884-1932 http://www.poetry.rcah.msu.edu

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: