Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BRIEF ELEGY, by DAVID IGNATOW



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BRIEF ELEGY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In every beautiful song is a promise of sleep
Last Line: Sing to me, strolling through silent streets
Subject(s): Singing & Singers; Sleep


It was that time when I could sit by a window
and read books. Naturally, I grew fat,
and the books heavy. Blooming out from behind
in tight knickers, I cruised between library
and window chair, airily like a yacht.
On the street I heard cursing by foreign kids
not in found books.

Right through me the kids shouted.
I could have been air, as I crossed
their games, hurt at being invisible.
In the library, the books smelled of leather
and paper dust. I would pull back my head
out of the press made by the leaves
and thought the smell not unpleasant
but close, binding me in. I needed air.
Out in the street, one arm hooked
around a pile of books, I walked,
feeling the crippled position of my arm.





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