The Excrement Poem

Kumin, Maxine

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack
  • Date of entry: Jan-29-1997


The narrator observes that we all, from the worm to the brontosaurus, have excrement. As she cleans the horses' stalls of "risen brown buns," she contemplates that sparrows will come to pick "redelivered grain" from the manure, that mushrooms will "spring up in a downpour" from it, that "However much we stain the world," shit indicates that we go on.


This is a delightful poem in which Kumin finds beauty and meaning in a most unexpected place.

Primary Source

Our Ground Time Here Will Be Brief


Viking Penguin

Place Published

New York