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Seattle Academy English Faculty Edelman Poem Published Online

Photo of Seattle Academy English Faculty Edelman in classroom with students.

Rachel Edelman engaging with students in her classroom.

Seattle Academy English Faculty member Rachel Edelman's original poem "Passage" was recently published by Wildness, an online literary journal based in the United Kingdom.

Photo of Seattle Academy Faculty Rachel Edelman

Seattle Academy English Faculty, Rachel Edelman

Below Rachel shares more about her writing process and what inspired her most recent poem. I grew up canoeing the tributaries of the Mississippi River near Memphis, so the imagery of flowing water and the slow, methodical rhythm of paddling along a current is very evocative for me. In college, I happened into a geology major (in addition to English) because I loved learning to read landscapes like poetic lines. Like many of my poems, “Passage” pulls images from across my personal archive to reckon with humans’ precarious existence on earth.

I wrote “Passage” in late December of 2019. After spending a week hammering away at a different, failed, poem, I was sifting through a stack of books rereading favorite poems. My mind got caught on “Night Repairs” by Molly Spencer, from her book If the House. I read it over and over and over. When the line “Long canoe of the womb” popped into my head,  I felt afraid to write it down, but I picked up my pen and did it anyway. The whole poem appeared, almost fully formed, which rarely happens for me--I tend to spend months or years writing and revising before I arrive at a poem’s final state.

Publication happened remarkably quickly, too--again, I’m used to spending months or years sending a poem out to journals, receiving rejection after rejection. In this case, I saw that Wildness, an online journal I admire, had a call for submissions for an eco folio. I put together a packet and sent it in. Now that it’s out in the world, I hope that its sense of longing resonates with the ache of uncertainty that readers are feeling right now.

Photo of Seattle Academy Faculty Rachel Edelman Poem Passage

Rachel Edelman's original poem "Passage."