I would have liked to linger in this room, But a rough wind was blowing. To wake up and go back to sleep beside you, But dawn was showing. Down on the river, a boat with a black sail. I must be going.
Her hair still hardly touched with grey, and wound in gleaming braids around her head, my mother, who in life was not so given to smiling, grinned in last night’s dream from ear to ear the double meaning of archaic smiles: “I am alive” and also “I am dead.”
Word trickled down the aisle that he had died. My first response: how did they even know? Grief was an afterthought. He'd long been gone; had only just sufficiently revived to totter to his feet and say hello (or else goodbye)—impossibly removed, frail, str
Lyric maneuvers through a narrow space, a blade of light squeezed under a dark door, hence more condensed (less being more): a distillation of the day’s events, white underbelly weirdly gemmed with dream. But must it not also be thinner and thus slip the more
Deep in myth, these galleries keep their counsel but re-distribute all the elements. Nymph rides goat, at-tended by a satyr who pats her rump to help her keep her seat; putto rides goat, attended by a nymph. Two other satyrs from behind a bush leer at a ny
Economy of loss: the sly subtraction whereby I give when I have nothing left to give and nothing is acknowledged. When there might be something I can offer, I refuse. The brassy taste of emptiness persists.
A zone of promise throbs along the horizon where May meets June. Sweet leaf or sap smells: conversations renewed between trees now so graceful in their drapery of green you'd never guess how lately they have taken it from winter storage and have shaken it out
The carapace of each past day: undo. Let the scales fall and if remote and small still make my vision new. Hieroglyphic shapes of mystification: you may go.Autumnal mood soggy with desolation: turn your head and glimpse the old decade unreeling like a silver
On the Square
Feb 18, 2009 12:00am
Rachel Hadas, A.E. Stallings, Kevin Cutrer, and our poetry editor, Paul Lake. Oh, and of course you’ll want to read the book reviews. First Things’ editor, Joseph Bottum, is unimpressed by Burton Raffel’s new translation of Chaucer’s The Canterbury
May 19, 2008 12:00am
Rachel Hadas, William Baer, Kevin Hart, Alfred Nicol, Sally Cook, Robert McDowell, Robert B. Shaw, and this, from Midge Goldberg: The Perks Why is Satan not too hot in hell? He doesn’t seem to suffer like the rest Who languish
Feb 12, 2008 12:00am
Rachel Hadas, to say nothing of Les Murray, quite possibly the best poet writing in English today. You could be taking in “How to Read the Bible,” Robert Louis Wilken’s account of the role of allegory: “The abandonment of allegory was a revolt against the