ABOUT Jane O. Wayne

Jane O. Wayne is the author of two earlier collections of poems, Looking Both Ways, which received the Devins Award, and A Strange Heart, which received the Marianne Moore Poetry Prize and Society of Midland Authors Poetry Award. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Iowa Review, The American Scholar, Ploughshares, and other journals.

Pecan Grove Press

From the Night Album

by Jane O. Wayne

“Wayne manages to deal with a complex personal vision of her world and to dramatize convincingly both the anguish and joy of her life, often with fresh, surprising figurative language.”––David Wagoner

“Wayne’s book presents a sharp, clear-eyed sensibility . . .” ––booklist, JP

praise for A Strange Heart:

“I love its simplicity, its elegance, its sense of form, its intelligence, and its exquisite attention to detail. . . . by following her own inexorable path, I want to say her literal path, she succeeds in discovering another world, perhaps the other world, for us.” ––Gerald Stern

“Jane Wayne’s poems continue beyond the given to trace the interstices of the shadows, with craft and precision, until another presence is detected, if not always identified.” ––James Tate, Judge

From the Night Album

by Jane O. Wayne

A woman steps out of a family album,
and room by room, she walks
through a large house turning off the lights.

When the last light dims, she climbs out of a window
and regards the house from her own death.
Of course, it’s only a dream — so the scene can change

to a desk where a man who knows her secrets
is putting them in order. Here, there are no walls
to keep the woman from drifting to a beach.

Here, too, she can watch both the man in the room
and the tide obsessing over the sand
as if the next wave could get it right.

And he goes on — the man at the desk —
arranging a child’s set of blocks
inscribed with cryptograms.

Now only a hand appears on a book,
and though she isn’t visible, she knows she’s older.
Then the pages start flipping

back to front, and she is racing to keep up:
her heart gets faster, the pages smaller.
In all of this, no one says a word.


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November 11, 2003

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