Barbara Ras Poems

Barbara Ras, born 1949 in Massachusetts, is a cherished American poet, editor, and translator. Her profound poetry collections, including the award-winning “Bite Every Sorrow,” have earned her a revered place in the literary world. Renowned for her “Whitmanesque” approach and vibrant imagery, Ras has also nurtured talents through her roles at Trinity University Press and prestigious writing programs.

You Can’t Have It All

by Barbara Ras

‘You Can’t Have It All’ celebrates life’s diverse experiences, urging appreciation for moments amid constraints, fostering gratitude and acceptance.

This poem is a representative example of Barbara Ras's poetry. Her works often explore themes of life's complexities, the beauty of ordinary moments, and the interplay between gratitude and acceptance. This poem, with its vivid imagery, contemplative tone, and introspective reflections, encapsulates her style of inviting readers to appreciate the richness of human experiences while acknowledging their limitations. It is emblematic of Ras's ability to blend poignant emotions, philosophical insights, and sensory details to create a tapestry of meaning that resonates throughout her body of work.

But you can have the fig tree and its fat leaves like clown hands

gloved with green. You can have the touch of a single eleven-year-old finger

on your cheek, waking you at one a.m. to say the hamster is back.

You can have the purr of the cat and the soulful look

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