Ann Babson Carter


Anne Babson Carter’s poetry has appeared in The Nation, The Paris Review, Theology Today, The Christian Century, The Western Humanities Review and Borderlands, among other journals. Her collection of poems, Strike Root won the Four Way Book Prize for a first volume of poetry and was published by that press.

In addition to Strike Root, the poem, “Cobb’s Barns,” was included in the anthology, The Poetry of Solitude: A Tribute to Edward Hopper, edited by Gail Levin for Universe Books. A second poem, “Undivided Measure,” was set to music for mixed chorus and organ by American composer, Stephen Paulus and given a world premiere at The House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, MN.

Also known as Jill, the author served as poetry consultant to the Creative Center for the Arts in New York City, and has taught at various educational institutions in NY, NJ, GA, CT, VT and MA, including Gloucester High School. She has twice been a Fellow of the Yaddo Corporation in Saratoga Springs, NY.


Three Elegies



Before these days of bright rapidity

I longed for you for longer than an afternoon.

This must be why

for as long as possible

I sit on this bench thinking of you

of how it would be

to sit so close


on the still-warm base

of Bunker Hill’s monument,

that your bare forearm,

resting against my unresisting breast,

releases corridors of pent-up time

from the long-unspent surfaces

of my so-unguarded body.


I feel it now. There is no stasis.

Minutes sift overhead

like filigrees of gold leaf

like this sky dropping fire

behind Boston, obscuring Charlestown.

If I go to you at 4 o’clock,

nothing abstract will pass between us again.



My tears water this summer.

They are countless.

Wherever I walk

they are before me,

wetting everything I touch.

I have an ocean of tears in me.

They take no thought,

and blur the Aspen

I won’t see turn in September.

I want to ask

why no one sees them?

Please, let them fill

their purpose,

then dry to salt,

enough for all the horses.



After the snows, will it only be in April that we stand on Commonwealth Avenue

in the pale sunshine of earliest Spring and realize these beguiling hours must end?


Should I be surprised, as the snows withdraw and the shade trees leaf, the moment

we stood on the Annisquam porch and began, without consent, is in us still?


For those brave and temporal months, we burned inside our separate realities —

guileless to the endings beginnings inevitably cause; I could not understand why


the numbers of hearts you already accept, precluded mine.

Now, as each slow-gaited hour unfurls across Commonwealth Avenue


in the hard cold of yet another incipient Spring, will it always be in April

that I remember to live without the other, is an earth empty of desire.