“Bad Day” by Kay Ryan
Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools, Hosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
Not every day is a good day for the elfin tailor. Some days the stolen cloth reveals what it was made for: a handsome weskit or the jerkin of an elfin sailor. Other days the tailor sees a jacket in his mind and sets about to find the fabric. But some days neither the idea nor the material presents itself; and these are the hard days for the tailor elf.
From Say Uncle, 2000
Copyright 2000 Kay Ryan.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of Grove/Atlantic, Inc. Copyright 2000 by Kay Ryan. For further permissions information, contact Mary Flower, Grove/Atlantic Inc., 841 Broadway, New York, NY 10003, email@example.com.
About the Poet
Kay Ryan was born in 1945 in San Jose, California, and grew up in the San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert. Her father was an oil well driller and sometime-prospector. She received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles. Since 1971, Ryan has lived in Marin County. Her partner of 30 years is Carol Adair.
For more than 30 years, Ryan limited her professional responsibilities to the part-time teaching of remedial English at the College of Marin in Kentfield, Calif., thus leaving much of her life free for "a lot of mountain bike riding plus the idle maunderings poets feed upon." She said at one point that she has never taken a creative writing class, and in a 2004 interview in The Christian Science Monitor, she noted, "I have tried to live very quietly, so I could be happy."
Learn more about Kay Ryan at The Poetry Foundation