Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE STARS, by DAVID IGNATOW

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THE STARS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Why do they shine so brightly if not to be themselves
Last Line: Because it is in me to change.
Subject(s): Self-reliance; Stars

Why do they shine so brightly if not to be themselves
completely? So it should be for ourselves,
unless like a dying star that bursts apart,
dwindles into space, the wars and diseases
are the symptoms of our coming end.

What does it matter, after all --
as another piece of the cosmos
turns into heaps of gas clouds
from which to start anew?

What does it matter that we are diseased with dying
and violence, as the signs that we are dying
are changed and change itself is life?

Praise the lord who is man,
praise the body and soul of man
who is his own creator, and praise
that of which he makes himself,
the first existence before his own.

This is the mystery, that it exists,
that it should be there
to make of it ourselves.

Such mystery is my religion,
and I am afraid I must die as gods die,
to be other than I know myself now
because it is in me to change.

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