Robert Hass

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A Story about the Body

Hass, Robert

Last Updated: Sep-15-1997
Annotated by:
Belling, Catherine

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem


This short prose poem (a single paragraph) concisely tells a powerful story. A composer at an artist's colony believes he has fallen in love with a woman of almost sixty, a Japanese painter. One night, late, at her door, she acknowledges their mutual desire, but warns him that she has had a double mastectomy. He leaves her, apologizing. In the morning he finds that she has left a bowl on his doorstep, filled with dead bees covered by a layer of rose petals.

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