Smith, Dave

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack
  • Date of entry: Mar-20-2001


The poet recalls an incident when "a far gone girl" comes waddling onto the scene. The month is June; the place, a mountain stream; and the time, when "there was no dark yet between us." Shoeless, the pregnant woman steps into the stream, "your skirt drawn up thighs / white as the growing mists." Years later, he treasures the image: "you waddle with that quick weight / of the beginning, deliberate as the earth's dim intentions / you keep bearing it like glory." [40 lines]


Pregnant is a love poem. "Pregnant" is a lingeringly, lusciously fertile hymn of praise. "Pregnant" is an evocation in which "a far gone girl bumps near / just at dusk's edge when the groan of age is heavy upon him." Maybe so, maybe the poet did feel "the groan of age" at the moment, but the groan is hardly heavy upon this deliriously pregnant hymn of praise.

Dave Smith's language in this poem, as in Ear Ache (see this database) is rich and extravagant, almost overwhelming in its juiciness. These are lines that make you fall in love with the English language. For more on Dave Smith as a Southern poet, see Helen Vendler, "Catching a Pig on the Farm," New York Review of Books (March 4, 2001), pp. 44-46.

Primary Source

The Roundhouse Voices: Selected and New Poems


Harper & Row

Place Published

New York