Don Share is Senior Editor of Poetry magazine in Chicago. He has been Poetry Editor of Harvard Review and Partisan Review, Editor of Literary Imagination, and Curator of Poetry at Harvard University. His books include Squandermania (Salt Publishing), Union (Zoo Press), Seneca in English (Penguin Classics); forthcoming are a critical edition of Basil Bunting's poems (Faber and Faber) and Bunting's Persia (Flood Editions). His translations of Miguel Hernández, collected in I Have Lots of Heart(Bloodaxe Books) were awarded the Times Literary Supplement Translation Prize, the Premio Valle Inclán Prize, and the PEN/New England Discovery Award.
Sweet Water, Best Bread
Bread, kneaded with rainwater,
failing that, with pure light thin
fountain water that arises in the east
and flows forever eastward, failing
that, water from a quick-running spring
from flinty, chalky, gravelly ground,
failing that, water from the longest river
you can find, failing that, muddy, still,
thick water left to settle for a day or two,
or even well-water lifted in dark old stone
cisterns ~ and if nature won't afford you
these your purest water must then be had
by art at infinite cost, and in rudiments.