Lorine Niedecker – Poet of Place

Lorine Niedecker (1903-1970) is a twentieth-century, second-wave, Modern American poet often identified with the Objectivists. Living most of her life on the shores of the Rock River near Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, she is perhaps best known as a poet of place who wrote about the Blackhawk Island that she loved. Her work, however, ranges from modernist folk poetry (NEW GOOSE, 1946) to haiku-like forms to long poems like “Lake Superior” and “Wintergreen Ridge” (NORTH CENTRAL, 1968). She is admired for the subtlety of her tightly crafted, nuanced and deliciously ironic poems, as well as for her total devotion to her calling. More…

Current News

Follow-up to Hear the Solitary Plover

Dear Friends - My apologies for the technological problems for last night's Hear the Solitary Plover poetry reading. I know that the livestream did not stream (even though Zoom said it was) so remote viewers were unable to attend. To top it off, even though Zoom was...

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Hear The Solitary Plover: A Poetry Reading

Tuesday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. The Friends of Lorine Niedecker and the Dwight Foster Public Library invite you to celebrate National Poetry Month with this special poetry event. The poets published in the Winter 2022 issue of “The Solitary Plover” will join us...

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New Niedecker Poetry Mural in Fort Atkinson

South Water Street W Poetry Art Mural In October 2021 the third poetry wall installation was completed on the north side of the current Hometown Pharmacy building on the corner of South Main Streetand South Water Street W. This piece was also designed and created by...

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The “cottage” where Lorine and Al lived on Blackhawk Island.

Lorine on her screen porch.

Lorine’s cabin on Blackhawk Island

Photo of Blackhawk Island Road on the way to Lorine’s house.

Lorine in Milwaukee 1964.

Young Lorine

Poetry

What horror to awake at night
and in the dimness see the light.
        Time is white
        mosquitoes bite
I’ve spent my life on nothing




There’s a better shine
on the pendulum
than is on my hair
and many times
         . .    . .
I’ve seen it there.



Good deed, my
love. The ele-
ment of folk-
time.  Nerves
are my past
monogamy,
said her arms
going farther.
Rock me out.
For best work
you ought to put forth
       some effort
       to stand
in north woods
among birch



Hi, Hot-and-Humid

That June she's a lush

Marshmushing, frog bickering
moon pooling, green gripping

fool
keep cool
The land of four o’clocks is here
the five of us together
    looking for our supper.
Half past endive, quarter to beets,
seven milks, ten cents cheese,
    lost, our land, forever.



Van Gogh could see
twenty-seven varieties
          of black
      in cap-
italism.




I’ve been away from poetry
many months

and now must rake leaves
with nothing blowing

between your house
and mine

Fog-thick morning—
I see only
where I now walk. I carry
    my clarity
With me.




Not all harsh sounds displease—
Yellowhead blackbirds cough
            through reeds and fronds
as through pronged bronze





Don’t shoot the rail!
Let your grandfather rest!
Tho he sees your wild eyes
he’s falling asleep,
his long-billed pipe
on his red-brown vest.



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