Ed Madden | So they can sing

Madden_So They Can Sing_web cover

So they can sing: poems by Ed Madden. Number 14 in the Robin Becker Chapbook Series, selected by Julie R. Enszer. 

Publication:  September 29, 2017 [100 copies]
25 pages
$ 9.00

Cover art by Paul Bilger.

Born and raised in rural Arkansas, Ed Madden is a professor of English and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of South Carolina. He is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Ark, a memoir in verse of his father’s last months with cancer. His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, Poetry Ireland Review, and other journals, as well as in Best New Poets 2007, Hard Lines: Rough South Poetry, and Queer South. In 2015 he was named the poet laureate for the City of Columbia, SC.


That kingfisher, bright, blue, stunning, sudden, 
swooping by us 

on our suburban walk round the pond 
this morning; 

or the three deer in the yard tonight, skittish 
in the headlights, then 

gone, crashing through the bramble, the woods 
nearby; or last fall, 

catching that AM cab to the airport, 
and just then, 

when you stood in the porchlight waving, 
that fat raccoon

stalking by in the morning dark, huge, 
beautiful, wild; 

sometimes I am surprised by the visibility of things–

men marrying one another on television now, 
as we did back then

without cameras or sanction of law and celebrity, just  
that of friends, family, maybe

the Elvis impersonator at the reception, who lingered  
outside the church hall

with his British wife, the both of them smiling, 
tossing birdseed.