Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan

Selected poem: Relief

Acknowledged as one of the most original voices in the contemporary landscape, Kay Ryan has published several collections of poetry, including Erratic Facts (Grove Press, 2015) and The Best of It: New and Selected Poems (Grove Press, 2010), for which she won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2011.


We know it is close
to something lofty.
Simply getting over being sick
or finding lost property
has in it the leap,
the purge, the quick humility
of witnessing a birth—
how love seeps up
and retakes the earth.
There is a dreamy
wading feeling to your walk
inside the current
of restored riches,
clocks set back,
disasters averted.

Kay Ryan, “Relief” from The Best of It: New and Selected Poems.
Copyright © 2010 by Kay Ryan.
Reprinted with the permission of Grove Press.