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Author: BLY, ROBERT
Matches Found: 628


Bly, Robert    Poet's Biography
628 poems available by this author


23-DEC-26       
First Line: I was born during the night sea-journey
Last Line: With sticks on the log walls. And when they are drunk, %theyfight over water, and spill it on the pl


A CATERPILLAR ON THE DESK    Poem Text    
First Line: Lifting up my coffee cup, I notice a caterpillar crawling
Subject(s): Caterpillars; Postage Stamps


A CHRISTMAS POEM    Poem Text    
First Line: I saw you nearly at dawn in a bath
Last Line: Certain if our family tonight was worthy
Subject(s): Christmas


A CONVERSATION WITH A MOUSE    Poem Text    
First Line: One day a mouse called to me from his curly nest
Last Line: Of the century when a sleepy mouse brings in the milky way
Subject(s): Mice; Milky Wau


A DREAM OF WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS    Poem Text    
First Line: You were dead, but how sleek and darkly calm you were!
Last Line: Lying, saying I cared nothing about form....
Subject(s): Creative Ability; Dreams; Irony; Play; Williams, William Carlos (1883-1963); Inspiration; Creativity; Nightmares


A DREAM ON THE FIRST NIGHT OF SNOW    Poem Text    
First Line: I woke from a first-day-of-snow dream
Subject(s): Snow


A FARM IN WESTERN MINNESOTA    Poem Text    
First Line: When I look at childhood, I see the yellow rose bush
Last Line: Was work to do, but no one learned how to say goodbye
Subject(s): Farm Life; Minnesota; Agriculture; Farmers


A JOURNEY WITH WOMEN    Poem Text    
First Line: Floating in turtle blood, going backward and forward
Subject(s): Turtles; Tortoises


A LATE SPRING DAY IN MY LIFE    Poem Text    
First Line: A silence hovers over the earth


A MAN AND A WOMAN AND A BLACKBIRD     Poem Text    
First Line: When the two rivers
Last Line: And the blackbird are one
Subject(s): Birds; Man-woman Relationships


A PRIVATE FALL    Poem Text    
First Line: Mots of haydust rise and fall
Last Line: And we tell no one
Subject(s): Autumn; Nature; Seasons; Fall


A RAMAGE FOR AWAKENING SORROW    Poem Text    
First Line: The grackles stroll about on the black floor of sorrow
Subject(s): Grief; Sorrow; Sadness


A RAMAGE FOR THE STAR MAN, MOURNING    Poem Text    
First Line: The star man, mourning, floats above the stars
Subject(s): Mourning; Bereavement


A THIRD BODY    Poem Text    
First Line: A man and a woman sit near each other, and they do not long
Subject(s): Love


A WEEK AFTER YOUR DEATH    Poem Text    
First Line: I dreamt last night you
Last Line: Your dream he did
Subject(s): Death; Dreams


ABAN KAVOST AND IVAR OAKESON       
First Line: What you love is gone; the worst have got it
Last Line: Have you put bonds on me? Are you that strong?


ABOUT HISTORY       
First Line: One march day I walked down to the lake shore to listen
Last Line: Like an old memory gradually changing into you


ADAM AND THE CAMPFIRE       
First Line: I am worried about the five ways of knowing the world
Last Line: How joseph rose up from the bottom of his well


ADVENTURES IN THE SIMIC WOODS       
First Line: I spent a night in the simic woods
Last Line: They are throwing great loaves to the blushing parents


ADVICE FROM THE GEESE        Recitation by Author


AFTER A FRIEND'S DEATH       
First Line: It must be summer. Push the dock out
Last Line: Even though people die, it must be summer


AFTER A LONG DRY SPELL       
First Line: The summer is gray now strange evening
Last Line: It's all right to live by your own code


AFTER DRINKING ALL NIGHT WITH A FRIEND       
First Line: These pines, these fall oaks, these rocks
Last Line: So we drift toward shore, over cold waters, %no longer caring if we drift or go straight


AFTER LONG BUSYNESS    Poem Text    
First Line: I start out for a walk at last after weeks at the desk


AFTER LONG BUSYNESS       
First Line: I start out for a walk at last after weeks at the desk
Last Line: Every day I did not spend in solitude was wasted


AFTER MY FATHER'S FUNERAL       
First Line: As people walk from the cemetery, they speak amiable words
Last Line: Door hinges pulled out, nails and dishes scattered


AFTER THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, ALL THINGS HAPPEN AT ONCE       
First Line: Now we enter a strange world, where the hessian christmas
Last Line: Like turkeys are singing from the tops of trees! %and the whiskey boys are drunk outside philadelphi


AFTER WORKING    Poem Text    
First Line: After many strange thoughts


AFTER WORKING       
First Line: After many strange thoughts, thoughts
Last Line: We know the road. As the moonlight %lifts everything, so in a night like this %the road goes on ahea


AFTERNOON SLEEP       
First Line: It was descending from the mountains of sleep
Last Line: Inside were old abandoned books, %and instructions to norwegian immigrants


ALL THESE STORIES       
First Line: There are so many stories. In one, a bear
Last Line: Turn into swallows, and agree to live in longing


ALONE A FEW HOURS       
First Line: Today I was alone a few hours, and slowly


ALONG THE LINES       
First Line: Sun glints from the frozen river
Last Line: Which are now being painted by silence %that paints them over


AN AMERICAN DREAM    Poem Text    
First Line: Accountants hover over the earth like helicopters


AN OPEN ROSE    Poem Text    
First Line: Why do we say that the rose is open? It opens as the
Last Line: Water, far inside the rose's petals. Where you go, I go....
Subject(s): Desire; Flowers; Roses; Travel; Journeys; Trips


ANDREW JACKSON'S SPEECH       
First Line: I heard andrew jackson say, as he closed his virgil
Last Line: His voice rose in the noisy streets of detroit


ANT MANSION       
First Line: The rubbing of the sleeping bag on my ear made me dream
Last Line: My father's labor who sees? It is in a pasture somewhere %not yet found by a walker
Variant Title(s): Finding An Old Ant Mansio
Subject(s): Ants; Insects


ANTS       
First Line: Behind the church in the isleta pueblo, there is a court
Last Line: Est impulses we have, that want to live, and will, if we %agree to put ourselves in the hands of the


APPROACHING WAR       
First Line: The sorrow of a horse standing in a stable goes on
Last Line: Go by in the space of a single heartbeat


APRIL AND SILENCE       
First Line: Spring lies abandoned
Last Line: Like the family silver %at the pawnbroker's


ARTIST AT FIFTY       
First Line: The crow nests high in the fir


AS THE ASIAN WAR BEGINS       
First Line: There are longings to kill that cannot be seen
Last Line: Give us a glimpse of what we cannot see, %our enemies, the soldiers and the poor


ASIAN PEACE OFFERS REJECTED WITHOUT PUBLICATION       
First Line: These suggestions by asians are not taken seriously
Last Line: About to be buried in snow! %its long hoot %making the owl in the douglas fir turn his head


AT A MARCH AGAINST THE VIETNAM WAR       
First Line: Newspapers rise high in the air over maryland
Last Line: Like a man anointing himself
Subject(s): Antiwar Movements; Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975


AT A MARCH AGAINST THE VIETNAM WAR (LATER VERSION)       
First Line: Newspapers rise high in the air over maryland
Subject(s): Antiwar Movements; Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975; Anti-war Protests


AT A MARCH AGAINST THE VIETNAM WAR (LATER VERSION)       
First Line: Newspapers rise high in the air over maryland
Last Line: Now we pour it over our heads
Subject(s): Antiwar Movements; Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975


AT BARSTOW       
First Line: Nervy with neons, the main drag


AT MIDOCEAN    Poem Text    
First Line: All day I loved you in a fever, holding on to the tail of the horse
Subject(s): Love


AT MIDOCEAN       
First Line: All day I loved you in a fever, holding on to the tail of the horse
Last Line: The rainstorm retires, clouds open, sunlight %sliding over ocean water a thousand miles from land
Subject(s): Love


AT THE FUNERAL OF GREAT-AUNT MARY       
First Line: Here we are, all dressed up to honor death!
Subject(s): Family Life; Relatives


AT THE FUNERAL OF GREAT-AUNT MARY       
First Line: Here we are, all dressed up to honor death!
Subject(s): Family Life


AT THE TIME OF PEONY BLOSSOMING       
First Line: When I come near the red peony flower
Last Line: Behind the leaves of the peony %there is a world still darker, that feeds many


ATTEMPTING TO ANSWER DAVID IGNATOW'S QUESTION    Poem Text    
First Line: We are beautiful to the mother as we go
Last Line: Sleeping bodies are not alone.
Subject(s): Death; Fate; Ignatow, David (1914-1997); Rebirth; Rites & Ceremonies; Dead, The; Destiny


AUGUST RAIN       
First Line: After a month and a half without rain, at last, in late august
Last Line: The hole open that lets the water in at last


AWAKENING    Poem Text    
First Line: We are approaching sleep: the chesnut blossoms in the mind


AWAKENING       
First Line: We are approaching sleep: the chestnut blossoms in the mind
Last Line: Cries, half-muffled, from beneath the earth, the living awakened at last like the dead


BACH'S B MINOR MASS    Poem Text    
First Line: The walgravian ancestors step inside trinity church
Subject(s): Music & Musicians; Churches; Cathedrals


BAD PEOPLE    Poem Text     Recitation
First Line: A man told me once that all the bad people


BAD PEOPLE       
First Line: A man told me once that all the bad people
Last Line: Poems with lies in them, but they help a little


BALAKIREV'S DREAM (1905)       
First Line: The black grand piano, the gleamy spider
Last Line: Carriages for hire rolled swiftly through the night


BARN AT ELABUGA       
First Line: What is it like to 'get killed'? Getting killed
Last Line: In the nearest barn, without telling anyone


BARNFIRE DURING CHURCH       
First Line: And as we spoke the nicene creed we were called out


BARRED ISLANDS       
First Line: Between their sandspit ends


BED OF TULIPS       
First Line: Why should these


BLACK FIGURE BELOW THE BOAT       
First Line: We hear phrases: 'he made me do it.'
Last Line: Don't say you didn't want it. Just get ready.'


BLACK HEN       
First Line: What we have loved is with us ever
Last Line: Before I agreed to be born
Variant Title(s): The Condition


BLACK PONY EATING GRASS       
First Line: Near me a black and shaggy pony is eating grass
Last Line: A star is also a stubborn man %the great bear is seven old men walking


BLACK POSTCARDS       
First Line: The calendar all booked up, the future unknown
Last Line: The suit in the silence


BLESSINGS ON THE STOMACH, THE BODY'S INNER FURNACE       
First Line: I think the stomach must have gone to the dark goblins given grace
Last Line: When we meet our lover on the dance floor at someone else's %wedding


BLIND DATE       
First Line: He waited, trying to look self-possessed
Last Line: With his inept desire to break through


BOARDS ON THE GROUND    Poem Text    
First Line: I love to see the boards lying on the ground in early spring


BOOKCASE       
First Line: It was moved out of the apartment after her death. It stood
Last Line: Head is not allowed


BOUQUET OF TEN ROSES       
First Line: The roses lift from the green strawberry-like leaves, their
Last Line: And the rose windows of chartres,the umber moss %on the stag's antlers


BOY ON THE FARM       
First Line: I was one of the saved
Last Line: And had better nights


BRAHMS    Poem Text    
First Line: It must be that my early friendship with defeat


BUSY MAN SPEAKS       
First Line: Not to the mother of solitude will I give myself
Last Line: The stones of cheerfulness, the steel of money, the father of %rocks


CALL AND ANSWER    Poem Text    
First Line: Tell me why it is we don't lift our voices these days
Last Line: Hurry, cry now! Soon sunday night will come
Subject(s): Politics & Government; War


CALL AND ANSWER       
First Line: Tell me why it is we don't lift our voices these days
Last Line: Hurry, cry now! Soon sunday night will come
Subject(s): Politics; War


CALLING HOME       
First Line: A telephone call flowed out into the night, and it gleamed here
Last Line: He runs with heart pounding


CALLING TO THE BADGER       
First Line: We are writing of niagara, and the huron squaws
Last Line: And the otter, alone on the mountain of south dakota


CALM DAY AT DRAKE' BAY       
First Line: A sort of roll develops out of the bay, and lays itself all
Last Line: Woman stomps around her house on a cane, no lamp lit %yet


CATERPILLAR       
First Line: Lifting my coffee cup, I notice a caterpillar crawling over
Last Line: Tices ordinary earth, scorned in july, with affection, as he%settles down to his daily work, to use


CATTAIL IN ATHENS, OHIO       
First Line: This cattail seems to belong to a horse; it is


CHINESE TOMB GUARDIANS       
First Line: Oh yes, I love you, book of my confessions
Last Line: They scrowl for eternity at the half-risen. %what do you have that can get past them?


CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE AT MIDNIGHT AT ST. MICHAEL'S       
First Line: A cold night; the sidewalk we walk on icy; the dark sur
Last Line: Stirred and calmed. A large man is flying over the water %with wings spread, a wound on his chest


CHRISTMAS POEM       
First Line: Christmas is a place, like jackson hole, where we all agree
Last Line: Be certain whether our family was worthy tonight


CLEAR AIR OF OCTOBER    Poem Text    
First Line: I can see outdoors the gold wings without birds


CLEAR AIR OF OCTOBER       
First Line: I can see outside the gold wings without birds


CLEARING       
First Line: In the middle of the forest there's an unexpected clearing that
Last Line: As ingeniously as a parachute packed by an expert


CLOTHESPINS       
First Line: I'd like to have spent my life making
Last Line: Still fresh, and a light wind blowing


COME WITH ME    Poem Text     Recitation
First Line: Come with me into those things that have felt this despair for
Subject(s): Despair


COME WITH ME (1)       
First Line: We walk together in willows, among willows


COME WITH ME (2)       
First Line: Come with me into those things that have felt this despair for
Last Line: And those roads in south dakota that feel around in the darkness


CONDITION OF THE WORKING CLASSES: 1960    Poem Text    
First Line: There are bricks trapped in thousands of pale homes
Last Line: And the curch-doors change into the faces of children standing beside the new trees
Subject(s): Industry; Labor & Laborers; Work; Workers


CONDITION OF THE WORKING CLASSES: 1960       
First Line: There are bricks trapped in thousands of pale homes
Last Line: Children standing beside the new trees
Subject(s): Industry; Labor And Laborers


CONDITION OF THE WORKING CLASSES: 1970    Poem Text    
First Line: You united states, frightened by dreams of guatemala
Last Line: And drive their cars at a hundred miles an hour into trees
Subject(s): Industry; Labor & Laborers; Work; Workers


CONDITION OF THE WORKING CLASSES: 1970       
First Line: You united states, frightened by dreams of guatemala
Last Line: And drive their cars at a hundred miles an hour into trees
Subject(s): Industry; Labor And Laborers


CONVERSATION       
First Line: I sat beneath maples, reading


CONVERSATION WITH A HOLY WOMAN NOT SEEN FOR MANY YEARS       
First Line: After so many years, I come walking to you
Last Line: Your eyes in sorrow do not laugh. %I say, 'I have come after so many years.'


CONVERSATION WITH A MONSTER       
First Line: A man I knew could never say who he was
Last Line: I may have something for you, but I can't promise.'


CONVERSATION WITH A MOUSE       
First Line: One day a mouse called to me from his curly nest
Last Line: Of the century when a sleepy mouse brings in the milky way


CONVERSATION WITH THE SOUL       
First Line: The soul said, 'give me something to look at.'
Last Line: What would you have said to her


CONVICT AND HIS RADIO       
First Line: The child left alone on the butte calls out to his
Last Line: He does not stop all night, %he cries until dawn


CORNPICKER POEM    Poem Text    
First Line: Sheds left out in the darkness
Last Line: Is waiting, its its empty gas cans around it
Subject(s): Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


CORNPICKER POEM       
First Line: Sheds left out in the darkness
Last Line: Somewhere the sullen chilled machine %is waiting, its empty gas cans around it
Subject(s): Farm Life


COUNTING SMALL-BONED BODIES    Poem Text    
First Line: Let's count the bodies over again
Subject(s): Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975


COUNTING SMALL-BONED BODIES       
First Line: Let's count the bodies over again
Last Line: We could fit %a body into a finger ring, for a keepsake forever
Subject(s): Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975


CRAZY CARLSON'S MEADOW       
First Line: Crazy carlson cleared this meadow alone
Last Line: When he got down, %darkness was there, inside the folds of darkness words %hidden


CRY GOING OUT OVER PASTURES       
First Line: I love you so much with this curiously alive and lonely
Last Line: Or woman who wrote down this joy clearly, for we cannot %remain in love with what we cannot name
Subject(s): Love


CURRENT ADMINISTRATION: 1       
First Line: Here morgan dies like a dog among whispers of angels
Last Line: That carry the birds on their long roads to the poles, %and see the ghost of locke above the railroa


CURRENT ADMINISTRATION: 2       
First Line: Snow fell all night on a farmyard in montana
Last Line: Black beetles, bright as cadillacs, toil down %the long dusty road into the mountains of south dakot


CURRENT ADMINISTRATION: 3       
First Line: One night we find ourselves near the giant's house
Last Line: Tiny loaves of bread with ears lie on the president's table.%steps coming! The father will soon retu
Variant Title(s): Near The Giant's Hous


DANGER OF LOSS       
First Line: On a clear day, the jealous
Last Line: For what he saves %he cares nothing, and goes %sullenly to a deep grave


DARK EYEBROWS SWIM LIKE TURTLES       


DARK SHAPE SWIMMING       
First Line: A stone age painting %on a sahara boulder
Last Line: And join his shadow again


DAWN IN THRESHING TIME       
First Line: The heavy crow, the jay and daw
Last Line: The gopher dozes in his hole; %dark turkeys loiter through the pine


DEAD OF SHILOH       
First Line: A drowsy numbness pains my sense.' keats heard
Last Line: There is nothing on this hook but farewell


DEAD SEAL NEAR MCCLURE'S BEACH       
First Line: Walking north toward the point, I come on a dead seal. From a
Last Line: The cliff and go home the other way
Subject(s): Nature


DECEMBER EVENING, '72       
First Line: Here I come the invisible man, perhaps in the employ
Last Line: Pulling us toward work in the dark and the bed at night. The %war


DEFEATED       
First Line: This burning behind my eyes as I open a door
Last Line: Served us well, shakes its bamboo bars. %it may be gone before we wake


DEPRESSION       
First Line: I felt my heart beat like an engine high in the air


DIGGING WORMS       
First Line: Here I am, digging worms behind the chickenhouse
Last Line: Did not hurt my shoulders when they hit and went %through, %but the wall of the castle fell


DREAM OF A BROTHER       
First Line: I fall asleep, and dream I am working in the fields
Last Line: Impulses to die shoot up in the dark. %in the dark the marmoset opens his eyes


DREAM OF AN AFTERNOON WITH A WOMAN I DID NOT KNOW       
First Line: I woke up, and went out. Not yet dawn


DREAM OF RETARDED CHILDREN       
First Line: That afternoon I had been fishing alone
Last Line: Waking up, I felt how alone I was. %I walked on the dock, %fishing alone in the far north


DREAM OF SUFFOCATION       
First Line: Accountants hover over the earth like helicopters
Last Line: Small black trains going round and round-- %old warships drowning in the raindrop


DREAM OF WHAT IS MISSING       
First Line: I dreamt all night such glad painful exultant dreams
Last Line: Water, became a lion, that prowls around the rocky edges %ofthe desert, keeping the hermit inside hi


DREAM ON THE NIGHT OF FIRST SNOW       
First Line: I woke from a first-day-of-snow dream
Last Line: Dogs pulling travois, %feathers fluttering on the lances of the arrogant men


DRIED STURGEON (VERSION A)       
First Line: I climb down from the bridge at rock island, illinois
Last Line: The big clamp of the boxcar, tapering into sleek %womanly death
Subject(s): Sturgeon


DRIED STURGEON (VERSION B)       
First Line: I climb down the bank at rock island, illinois, and cross
Last Line: And humorless as railway schedules or the big clamp of the %boxcar, tapering into sleek womanly deat
Subject(s): Sturgeon


DRIVING MY PARENTS HOME AT CHRISTMAS       
First Line: As I drive my parents home through the snow


DRIVING NORTH FROM SAN FRANCISCO    Poem Text    
First Line: We cross the sleeping water onyje san rafael bridge
Subject(s): Driving & Drivers


DRIVING THROUGH MINNESOTA DURING THE HANOI BOMBINGS    Poem Text    
First Line: We drive between lakes just turning green
Subject(s): Minnesota; Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975


DRIVING THROUGH MINNESOTA DURING THE HANOI BOMBINGS       
First Line: We drive between lakes just turning green
Last Line: In the helicopter like wild animals, %shot in the chest, taken back to be questioned
Subject(s): Minnesota; Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975


DRIVING THROUGH OHIO    Poem Text    
First Line: We slewpt that night in delaware, ohio
Subject(s): Driving & Drivers


DRIVING TO TOWN LATE TO MAIL A LETTER       
First Line: It is a cold and snowy night. The main street is deserted


DRIVING TOWARD THE LAC QUI PARLE RIVER    Poem Text    
First Line: I am driving; it is dusk; minnesota.
Subject(s): Driving & Drivers; Minnesota; Rivers


DRIVING TOWARD THE LAC QUI PARLE RIVER    Poem Text    
First Line: I am driving; it is dusk; minnesota
Subject(s): Minnesota; Rivers


DRIVING TOWARD THE LAC QUI PARLE RIVER       
First Line: I am driving; it is dusk; minnesota
Last Line: A few people are talking low in a boat
Subject(s): Minnesota; Rivers


DRIVING WEST IN 1970    Poem Text    
First Line: My dear children, do you remember the morning
Subject(s): Driving & Drivers; Memory; West (u.s.); Southwest; Pacific States


DWELLER       
First Line: There is a dweller in the dark cabin
Last Line: There is dweller in the dark cabin


EARLY MORNING       
First Line: The world is its usual rich self. Disturbed news
Last Line: The rest they give back, to the hospitals and the poor


EARLY MORNING IN YOUR ROOM    Poem Text    
First Line: It's morning. The brown scoops of coffee, the wasplike
Subject(s): Home; Morning; Said He Was Melancholy, He Meant He Was Hom


EARLY MORNING IN YOUR ROOM       
First Line: It's morning. The brown scoops of coffee, the wasplike
Last Line: Said he was melancholy, he meant he was home
Subject(s): Home; Morning


EARLY SPRING BETWEEN MADISON AND BELLINGHAM       
First Line: When our privacy starts over again
Last Line: The drowned sailor appears at the foot of his mother's %bed,%the grandfather and grandson sitting to


EASTER ISLAND       
First Line: Please tell me what the shoehorn does to keep
Last Line: When I heard the sound of iron hitting the ground


EEL IN THE CAVE       
First Line: Our veins are open to shadow, and our fingertips
Last Line: To slip into the alhambra by night


ELEVEN O'CLOCK AT NIGHT       
First Line: I lie alone in my bed; cooking and stories are over at
Last Line: Fore they came. I change every day. For the winter %dark of late december there is no solution


EMPTY PLACE       
First Line: The eyes are drawn to the dusty ground in fall
Last Line: This is the palace, the place of many mansions, %which christ has gone to prepare for us


EVENING WHEN THE FULL MOON ROSE AS THE SUN SET       
First Line: The sun goes down in the dusty april night
Last Line: And the life of faithfulness goes by like a river, %with no one noticing it


EVENING-MORNING       
First Line: The moon-mast has rotted, and the sail crinkled
Last Line: Near the earth. Half-suffocated summer gods grope in the sea %mist


EVOLUTION FROM THE FISH       
First Line: This grandson of fishes holds inside him
Last Line: Not hold my hands down! Let me raise them! %a fire is passing up through the soles of my feet!


EXECUTIVE'S DEATH       
First Line: Merchants have multiplied more than the stars of heaven
Last Line: Like the sound of horns, the sound of thousands of small wings


EXTRA JOYFUL CHORUS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE READ THIS FAR       
First Line: I sit alone late at night
Last Line: All the sleepers in the world join hands


FACE IN THE TOYOTA       
First Line: Suppose you see a face in a toyota
Last Line: And you stand on some mountain road weeping


FALL    Poem Text    
First Line: From far out in the center of the naked lake


FALL RAIN    Poem Text    
First Line: In the rain the sodden leaffloor sudders faintly as if rustling
Subject(s): Rain


FALLEN TREE       
First Line: After a long walk I come down to the shore
Last Line: It is so mysterious, waters below, waters above, %so little of it we can ever know!


FALLING ASLEEP       
First Line: I have been alone for two days, and still everything is
Last Line: I was for three days inside a warm-blooded fish. %a whale bore me back, home, we flew through the %a


FAMILY PHOTOGRAPH, SUNDAY MORNING, 19940       
First Line: They've gathered on the farm lawn, ten people, all ages
Last Line: Take nothing on trust. 'I trust my hands, and that's all.'


FARM IN WESTERN MINNESOTA       
First Line: When I look at childhood, I see the yellow rose bush
Last Line: Was work to do, but no one learned how to say good-bye
Subject(s): Farm Life; Minnesota


FERNS       
First Line: It was among ferns I learned about eternity
Last Line: Through you I learned to love the ferns on that bank, %and the curve the deer's hoof leaves in sand


FEW MOMENTS       
First Line: The dwarf pine on marsh grounds holds its head up: a dark %rag
Last Line: As the runners in white circling the track as the night comes %misting in


FIASCHERINO       
First Line: Over an ash-fawn beach fronting a sea which keeps


FIFTY MALES SITTING TOGETHER       
First Line: After a long walk in the woods clear cut for lumber
Last Line: The dark comes down slowly, the way %snow falls, or herds pass a cave mouth. %I look up at the other


FINDING SHARK'S TEETH IN A ROCK       
First Line: The cabin of the early snail swerves and falls


FINDING THE FATHER       
First Line: My firend, this body offers to carry us for nothing--as
Last Line: There behind the door...The eyebrows so heavy, the fore- %head so light...Lonely in his whole body,


FIRE OF DESPAIR HAS BEEN OUR SAVIOUR       
First Line: Today, autumn
Last Line: Where what is left and what goes down both bring despair. %not finding the road, we are slowly pulle


FIRE SCRIPT       
First Line: During the heavy months my life caught fire only when
Last Line: We stole milk from the cosmos and survived


FIRMNESS       
First Line: My fierceness when I hold you belongs


FOR A CHILDHOOD FRIEND, MARIE       
First Line: She knew a lot about life on a farm: wagon
Last Line: My grandmother told her not to -- and he drank


FOR MY SON, NOAH, TEN YEARS OLD    Poem Text    
First Line: Night and day arrive, and day after day goes by
Subject(s): Fathers; Men; Prayer


FOR MY SON, NOAH, TEN YEARS OLD       
First Line: Night and day arrive, and day after day goes by
Last Line: So we pass our time together, calm and delighted
Subject(s): Fathers; Men; Prayer


FOR RUTH       
First Line: There's a graceful way of doing things. Birch branches
Last Line: From you this new way of letting a poem be


FOR THE OLD GNOSTICS    Poem Text     Recitation
First Line: The fathers put their trust in the end of the world
Subject(s): Religion; Theology


FOR THE OLD GNOSTICS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: The fathers put their trust in the end of the world
Last Line: The untempered soul grumbles in empty light
Subject(s): Gnosticism


FORGOTTEN COMMANDER       
First Line: We have lots of shadows. I was walking home
Last Line: From the weight of what is to come


FOUR SEASONS IN AMERICAN WOODS, SELS.       
First Line: Spring has come; I look up and see
Last Line: Sail home. For me this season is most sweet, %and winter will be stamping of the feet


FOUR WAYS OF KNOWLEDGE       
First Line: So many things happen
Last Line: This time we live it, %and only awaken years later


FRENCH GENERALS       
First Line: Whenever jesus appears at the murky well
Last Line: Wherever there is water there is someone drowning


FROST AND HIS ENEMIES       
First Line: When robert frost set down a poetic whim,
Last Line: Or a patch of snow or the steeple of a church.
Subject(s): Fate; Frost, Robert (1874-1963); Innocence; Irony; Poetry & Poets; Truth; Destiny


FULL MOON, THINKING OF HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS    Poem Text    
First Line: Smoke rising over the full moon


GETTING UP EARLY       
First Line: I am up early. The box-elder leaves have fallen


GETTING UP LATE       
First Line: I get up late and ask what has to be done today
Last Line: Your whole life is like some drunkard's dream. %you haven't combed your hair for a whole month


GLIMPSE OF SOMETHING IN THE OVEN       
First Line: Childhood is like a kitchen. It is dangerous
Last Line: Your sister says, 'say, what's that in the oven?'


GLIMPSE OF THE WATERER       
First Line: The cucumbers are thirsty, their big leaves turn away from
Last Line: So to you waterers who love your gardens, I say, how %will you get through this night without water?


GOING WITH THE CURRENT       
First Line: Talking and talking with friends I saw heard behind their faces %the current
Last Line: Buried in the bushes-only the horns %stood up


GONE, GONE, GONE       
First Line: When the wind-sleeve moves in the morning street
Last Line: I need no %house or land, %caught in sweetness as the trout in the running stream


GOOD SILENCE       
First Line: Reading an anglo-saxon love poem in its extravagance
Last Line: What is the matter?' you say, looking over. %I answer, 'the ship saileth on the salte foam.'


GRANDPARENT AND THE GRANDAUGHTER       
First Line: Will you rescue her?' we have dreams like that
Last Line: She was all right! That's how I did my part


GRASS FROM TWO YEARS       
First Line: When I write poems, I need to be near grass that no one
Last Line: Who sits near them, and feels he has at this moment more %joy than anyone alive


GRATITUDE TO OLD TEACHERS    Poem Text    
First Line: When we stride or stroll across the frozen lake
Last Line: Beneath us the teachers, and around us the stillness.
Subject(s): Adventure & Adventurers; Education; Faith; Growth; Maturity; Schools; Teaching & Teachers; Belief; Creed; Students; Educators; Professors


GREAT SOCIETY       
First Line: Dentists continue to water their lawns even in the rain
Last Line: Shells, a skyful of birds, %while the mayor sits with his head in his hands


GREEK SHIPS       
First Line: When the water holes go, and the fish flop about
Last Line: Are calling to us from a hundred sunken ships


GREEN COOKSTOVE       
First Line: A lonely man once sat on a large flat stone
Last Line: My dears, we say. 'something good will come of this.'


GRIEF GONDOLA #2       
First Line: Two old guys, father-in-law and son-in-law, liszt and wagner
Last Line: It was impossible to know which was the teacher


GRIEF OF MEN       
First Line: The buddhist ordered his boy to bring him, new
Last Line: My father is there, %sits by the bed long night after night


HAIR       
First Line: The doctor arrives to inject the movie star against delirium tremens
Last Line: The nick on the hornblade through which the mammoth escapes
Variant Title(s): A Conversatio


HALF-FINISHED HEAVEN       
First Line: Cowardice breaks off on its path
Last Line: The lake is a window into the earth


HATRED OF MEN WITH BLACK HAIR    Poem Text    
First Line: I hear voices praising tshombe, and the portuguese
Subject(s): Hate


HATRED OF MEN WITH BLACK HAIR       
First Line: I hear voices praising tshombe, and the portuguese
Last Line: Preserved from a trail of blood that once led away %from thestockade, over the snow, the trail now l
Subject(s): Hate


HAWK       
First Line: The hawk sweeps down from his aerie
Last Line: When he finds the way %long intended for him, %he tastes through glacial water %the labrador ferns a


HAWTHORNE AND THE ELEPHANT       
First Line: Hawthorne's walking stick -- very short -- lay
Last Line: Clifford's room is the little one up the secret stairs


HE WANTED TO LIVE HIS LIFE OVER    Poem Text    
First Line: What? You want to live your life over again
Last Line: I'll pretend this bat is mine I'll climb in
Subject(s): Life


HE WANTED TO LIVE HIS LIFE OVER       
First Line: What? You want to live your life over again
Last Line: I'll pretend this boat is my life ... I'll climb in
Subject(s): Life


HEARING MEN SHOUT AT NIGHT ON MACDOUGAL STREET       
First Line: How strange to awake in a city
Last Line: The first new england slave-ship with the negroes in the hold


HERMIT       
First Line: Darkness is falling through darkness
Last Line: Him, we grow calm, %and sail on into the tunnels of joyful death


HERONS    Poem Text    
First Line: After trailing their bony legs the herons dance
Subject(s): Herons


HOCKEY POEM: 1. THE GOALIE       
First Line: The boston college team has gold helmets, under which the long
Last Line: For the children to come home
Subject(s): Hockey


HOCKEY POEM: 2. THE ATTACK       
First Line: They all come hurrying back toward us, suddenly, knees dipping
Last Line: How beautiful, like the body and soul crossing in a poem


HOCKEY POEM: 3. THE FIGHT       
First Line: The player in position pauses, aims, pauses, cracks his stick on the
Last Line: Society is wrong, the wardens are wrong, the judges hate individu- %ality


HOCKEY POEM: 4. THE GOALIE       
First Line: And this man with his peaked mask, with slits, how fantastic he is
Last Line: Developed by speed, by war


HOLLOW TREE       
First Line: I bend over an old hollow cottonwood stump, still
Last Line: Them with a fluted whitetip. Many feathers. In the silence many feathers


HOME IN DARK GRASS (1)       
First Line: In the deep fall, the body awakes
Last Line: And, dancing, find in the trees a saviour, %a home in dark grass, %and nourishment in death


HOME IN DARK GRASS (2)       
First Line: In the deep fall, terror increases,
Last Line: And, dancing, find in the trees a savior, %a home in dark grass, %and nourishment in death


HONORING THE SAND; IN MEMORY OF JOSEPH CAMPBELL       
First Line: December's foolishness, embers fall, tempters
Last Line: Forget the flower; learn to know the sand.
Subject(s): Campbell, Joseph (1904-1987); Learning; Legacies; Soul; Time


HORSE OF DESIRE       
First Line: Yesterday I saw a face
Last Line: The two beings below with no %eyes at all love you %with the slow persistent %intensity of the blind


HORSES COMING UP BEHIND       
First Line: Have you noticed the horses galloping past us?
Last Line: Going by with their thin cheekbones in the night!


HOW BEAUTIFUL THE SHINY TURTLE       


HOW THOREAU LIVED    Poem Text    
First Line: Henry thoreau gave up his scandalous life
Subject(s): Thoreau, Henry David (1817-1862)


HOW THOREAU LIVED       
First Line: Henry thoreau gave up his scandalous life
Last Line: Mostly, he lived extravagantly alone


HUMMINGBIRD VALLEY       
First Line: I love to come near the hummingbird valley


HUNTING PHEASANTS IN A CORNFIELD    Poem Text    
First Line: What is so strange about a tree alone in an open field?
Subject(s): Environment; Fields; Pheasants; Willow Trees; Environmental Protection; Ecology; Conservation; Pastures; Meadows; Leas


HUNTING PHEASANTS IN A CORNFIELD       
First Line: What is so strange about a tree alone in an open field?
Last Line: If I were a young animal ready to turn home at dusk
Subject(s): Environment; Fields; Pheasants; Willow Trees


HURRYING AWAY FROM THE EARTH    Poem Text    
First Line: The poor, the dazed, and the idiots


HURRYING AWAY FROM THE EARTH       
First Line: The poor, and the dazed, and the idiots
Last Line: Men cry when they hear stories of someone rising from the %dead


I GOT TWO VIELDS       
First Line: I got two vields, an' I don't ceare
Last Line: What squire mid have a bigger sheare!
Subject(s): Environment; Fields


IMAGES SUGGESTED BY MEDIEVAL MUSIC    Poem Text    
First Line: Once more
Subject(s): Music & Musicians


IN A MOUNTAIN CABIN IN NORWAY       
First Line: I look down the mountainside. Just below my window
Last Line: No one comes to visit us for a week


IN A TRAIN       
First Line: There has been a light snow
Last Line: I have awakened at missoula, montana, utterly happy


IN BOWLING GREEN, KENTUCKY    Poem Text    
First Line: The mourning dove's call woke me
Last Line: The call woke me in the still night
Subject(s): Death; Memory; Mourning; Dead, The; Bereavement


IN BOWLING GREEN, KENTUCKY       
First Line: The mourning dove's call woke me
Last Line: And you'll be with your mother again
Subject(s): Death; Memory; Mourning


IN DANGER FROM THE OUTER WORLD       
First Line: This burning in the eyes, as we open doors
Last Line: Shakes its bamboo bars- %it may be gone before we wake


IN MOURNING FOR BETRAYAL       
First Line: I am mourning a murder; one I have done
Last Line: Pulling up from far below, the water is born, %spreading white tomb-clothes on the rocky shore


IN RAINY SEPTEMBER       
First Line: In rainy september, when leaves grow down to the dark
Last Line: We stay in the room, door closed, lights out. %I weep with you without shame and without honor


IN THE MONTH OF MAY    Poem Text    
First Line: In the month of may when all leaves open
Last Line: I would like us to spend the night
Subject(s): Love - Marital; May (month); Wedded Love; Marriage - Love


IN THE MONTH OF MAY       
First Line: In the month of may when all leaves open
Last Line: Along the roads, I see so many places %I would like us to spend the night
Subject(s): Love - Marital; May (month)


INDIGO BUNTING       
First Line: I go to the door often
Last Line: Through the night, not swerving, %clear as the indigo %bunting in her flight, %passing over two %tho


INSECT HEADS    Poem Text    
First Line: These insects, golden
Last Line: Hold sand paintings of the next life
Subject(s): Insects; Bugs


INSECT HEADS       
First Line: These insects, golden
Subject(s): Insects


ISAAC BASHEVIS AND PASTERNAK       
First Line: Old literary privacies are in danger
Last Line: To norway -- tell me where I can find it


ISEULT AND THE BADGER    Poem Text    
First Line: The ink we use to write seeps in through our fingers
Last Line: We are porous to the piled leaves on the ground
Subject(s): Animals; Badgers; Poetry & Poets


ISEULT AND THE BADGER       
First Line: The ink we use to write seeps in through our fingers
Last Line: We are porous to the piled leaves on the ground
Subject(s): Animals; Badgers; Poetry And Poets


ISLAND LIFE, 1860       
First Line: Down the dock she was washing clothes one day
Last Line: This moment's wound that bleeds in for eternity


IT IS SO EASY TO GIVE IN       
First Line: I have been thinking about the man who gives in
Last Line: Over there on the hill. We don't need all these men


IT'S AS IF SOMEONE ELSE IS WITH ME       
First Line: It's as if someone else is here with me, here in this room
Last Line: I want nothing from you but to see you


JACOB AND RACHEL       
First Line: The harsh bark on the calendar oaks and the bowl
Last Line: The true blessing as we should to our children


JEREZ AT EASTER    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Please tell me why the lamb is in love with the wolf
Subject(s): Easter; The Resurrection


JOHNSON'S CABINET WATCHED BY ANTS       
First Line: It is a clearing deep in a forest: overhanging boughs
Last Line: The fiery songs, their five long toes trembling in the soaked eart


JOURNEY WITH WOMEN       
First Line: Floating in turtle blood, going backward and forward
Last Line: We are still falling like a room %full of moonlight through the air


JOURNEYS IN THE UNDERWORLD: CALDERON       
First Line: Each mole and shoat is a shadow thrown by the sun
Last Line: There are so many halibut in the net of despair


JOURNEYS IN THE UNDERWORLD: THE BATTLE AT YPRES 1915       
First Line: Tammuz, bright with feathers, goes to the underworld
Last Line: How much will we have to pay for those?


JULY MORNING       
First Line: The day is awake. The bark calls to the rain still in the
Last Line: After that we will be alone in the deepblue reaches of %the river


KENNEDY'S INAUGURATION     Poem Text    
First Line: The sister hands it to me - the seed
Last Line: One hand on the bible
Subject(s): Kennedy, John Fitzgerald (1917-1963)


KENNEDY'S INAUGURATION (VERSION A)       
First Line: The sister hands it to me - the seed
Last Line: And the president %in the cold - the old white- %haired poet nearby - %lays one hand on the bible
Subject(s): Kennedy, John Fitzgerald (1917-1963)


KENNEDY'S INAUGURATION (VERSION B)       
First Line: The sister hands it to me - the pod
Last Line: And the president %in the cold - the white- %haired poet nearby -- %lays one hand on the bible


KNEELING DOWN TO PEER INTO A CULVERT       
First Line: I kneel down to peer into a culvert
Last Line: I fight--it's time, it's right--and am torn to pieces %fighting


KYRIE       
First Line: At times my life suddenly opens its eyes in the dark
Last Line: And the doors of darkness open


LATE AT NIGHT DURING A VISIT OF FRIENDS    Poem Text    
First Line: We spent all day fishing and talking


LATE AT NIGHT DURING A VISIT OF FRIENDS       
First Line: We spent all day fishing and talking


LATE MOON       
First Line: The third-week moon reaches its light over my father's
Last Line: The earth has rocks in it that hum at early dawn. %as I turn to go in, I see my shadow reach for the


LETTER TO HER       
First Line: What I did I did
Last Line: Rises, and some- %thing strong guides the sun %over the sky until %it carries its spark down %to the


LETTER TOJAMES WRIGHT       
First Line: My dear james, do you know that nothing has happened
Last Line: That tenderness...By god, I'll try anything.'


LIFE OF SAMSON       
First Line: Samson, grinding bread for windows and orpahns
Last Line: Sinks down in the eastern ocean and is born


LISTENING       
First Line: The goose cries, and there is no way to save her
Last Line: The arts and double the madness. Are you listening?


LISTENING TO PRESIDENT KENNEDY LIE ABOUT THE CUBAN INVASION       
First Line: There is another darkness
Last Line: Of brutality in high places, %of lying reporters, %there is a bitter fatigue, adult and sad


LISTENING TO THE KOLN CONCERT    Poem Text    
First Line: After we had loved each other intently
Subject(s): Love; Men


LISTENING TO THE KOLN CONCERT       
First Line: After we had loved each other intently
Last Line: Will never be quite round, %and each has to enter the nest %made by the other imperfect bird
Subject(s): Love; Men


LIVING AT THE END OF TIME    Poem Text    
First Line: There is so much sweetness in children's voices


LOOKING AT A DRY TUMBLEWEED BROUGHT IN FROM THE SNOW       
First Line: What is this wonderful thing? Brown and everywhere!
Last Line: No it is a love, some love we forget every day, it is my mother
Subject(s): Nature


LOOKING AT AGING FACES    Poem Text    
First Line: Some faces get older and remain who they are. Oh
Last Line: Who we are
Subject(s): Aging; Faces


LOOKING AT AGING FACES       
First Line: Some faces get older and remain who they are. Oh
Last Line: By glimpsing us just after we wake, %who we are
Subject(s): Aging; Faces


LOOKING AT NEW-FALLEN SNOW FROM A TRAIN       
First Line: Snow has covered the next line of tracks
Subject(s): Railroads; Snow; Railways; Trains


LOOKING AT NEW-FALLEN SNOW FROM A TRAIN       
First Line: Snow has covered the next line of tracks
Last Line: Each blade of grass is a voice. %the sword by his side breaks into flame
Subject(s): Railroads; Snow


LOOKING AT SOME FLOWERS    Poem Text    
First Line: Light is behind the petals, and around them
Subject(s): Flowers


LOOKING AT SOME FLOWERS       
First Line: Light is around the petals, and behind them
Last Line: Or the ground this house is on, %only free of the sea for five or six thousand years


LOOKING AT THE STARS       
First Line: I still think about the shepherds, how many stars
Last Line: Eight thousand years later, and I still remember


LOOKING INTO A FACE       
First Line: Conversation brings us so close! Opening
Last Line: Existing like a light around the body, %through which the body moves like a sliding moon


LOOKING INTO A TIDE POOL       


LOON'S CRY       
First Line: From far out in the center of the naked lake
Last Line: The loon's cry rose. %it was the cry of someone who owned very little


LOVE FROM FAR AWAY       
First Line: We have a hunger for the wet mud near rivers
Last Line: Beneath the water we can hear the mourning dove


LOVE POEM       
First Line: When we are in love, we love the grass
Last Line: And the small mainstreets abandoned all night


LOVE POEM IN TWOS AND THREES       
First Line: What kind of people
Last Line: Standing by you, I am %glad as the clams %at high tide, eerily %content as the amorous %ocean owls


MAKING SMOKE       
First Line: Thre was a boy who never got enough
Last Line: Let me tell you a story


MAN AND A WOMAN AND A BLACKBIRD (1)       
First Line: When the two rivers
Subject(s): Nature


MAN AND A WOMAN AND A BLACKBIRD (2)       
First Line: A man and a woman are one
Last Line: And the man and the woman and the blackbird are one
Subject(s): Nature


MAN AWAKENED BY A SONG ABOVE HIS ROOF       
First Line: Morning, may rain. The city is silent still
Last Line: To grope for the tool of his consciousness- %almost in space


MAN LOCKED INSIDE THE OAK       
First Line: One man in me is locked inside an oakwomb
Last Line: Ivar oakeson, whom I love so much. %others false and ghostly live wihtin me also


MAN WHO DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WAS HIS       
First Line: There was a man who didn't know what was his
Last Line: He's charming, this man who doesn't know what is his


MAN WHO WANTS TO SAVE YOUR LIFE       
First Line: This is serious. I mean there's some guy in you
Last Line: Right now he's repeating them to you


MAN WRITES TO A PART OF HIMSELF       
First Line: What cave are you in, hiding, rained on?
Last Line: Which of us two then is the worse off? %and how did this separation come about?


MARCH BUDS       
First Line: They lie on the bed, hearing music


MARCH IN WASHINGTON AGAINST THE VIETNAM WAR    Poem Text    
First Line: Looking down, I see feet moving calmly, gaily
Subject(s): Antiwar Movements; Vietnamese Conflict (1961-1975); Anti-war Protests


MARCH'79, SELS       
First Line: Being tired of people who come with words, but no speech
Last Line: Speech but no words


MEDITATION ON PHILOSOPHY       
First Line: There is a restless gloom in my mind
Last Line: The weight of his shell kept him from moving. %his jaw hung down--it was large and fleshly


MEETING THE MAN WHO WARNS ME       
First Line: I wake and find myself in the woods, far from the castle
Last Line: This joy I love is like wounds at sea


MELANCHOLIA    Poem Text    
First Line: A light seen suddenly in the storm, snow
Last Line: Swirling over everything alive
Subject(s): Melancholy; Dejection


MELANCHOLIA       
First Line: A light seen suddenly in the storm, snow
Last Line: Swirling over everything alive
Subject(s): Melancholy


MEN, WOMEN, AND EARTH    Poem Text    
First Line: Early in the morning the hermit wakes
Last Line: Earth nourishes what no one can see.
Subject(s): Love; Man-woman Relationships; Mankind; Montague, John (b. 1929); Male-female Relations; Human Race


MINNOW TURNING       
First Line: Once I loved you only a few minutes a day


MINTY GRASS       
First Line: The ram walks over the minty grass


MISSOURI TRAVELLER WRITES HOME: 1830       
First Line: The spring rides down; from judith and the larb


MOIST NIGHT       
First Line: How much I love you. The night is moist
Last Line: Air still, trees silent. Tonight I love you
Variant Title(s): Seeing You Carry Plants I


MOOSE       
First Line: The arctic moose drinks at the tundra's edge


MORNING BIRD SONGS       
First Line: I wake up my car
Last Line: The poem is finished


MORNING IN MARRAKESH    Poem Text    
First Line: Even in marrakesh we still have to decide
Last Line: Black tail points toward the desert
Subject(s): Deserts; Food & Eating; Morning; Night; Bedtime


MORNING IN MARRAKESH       
First Line: Even in marrakesh we still have to decide
Last Line: Black tail points toward the desert
Subject(s): Deserts; Food And Eating; Morning; Night


MOUNTAIN GRASS       
First Line: Rain falls on mountain grass; we remain close all day


MOURNING PABLO NERUDA    Poem Text    
First Line: Water is practical / especially in august
Last Line: Gone.
Subject(s): Death; Legacies; Mourning; Nature; Neruda, Pablo (1904-1973); Usefullness; Water; Dead, The; Bereavement


MOUSE       
First Line: It's good to have poems
Last Line: Below that awful %cat of augustine


MOVING INWARD AT LAST       
First Line: The dying bull is bleeding on the mountain!
Last Line: The air of night changes to dark water, %the mountains alter and become the sea


MY DOUBTS ON GOING TO VISIT A NEW FRIEND       
First Line: I'm glas that a white horse grazes in that meadow
Last Line: There will be no one


MY FATHER AT 85       
First Line: His large ears hear
Last Line: He never phrased %what he desired, %and I am %his son


MY FATHER'S NECK       
First Line: Your chest, hospital gown
Last Line: This, and I do %not refuse it. %it is %in me


MY FATHER'S WEDDING: 1924    Poem Text    
First Line: Today, lonely for my father, I saw
Subject(s): Men


MY FATHER'S WEDDING: 1924       
First Line: Today, lonely for my father, I saw
Last Line: Few friends came; he invited few. %his two-story house he turned %into a forest, %where both he and
Subject(s): Men


NEURONS WHO WATCH BIRDS       
First Line: We have to think now what it would be like
Last Line: This problem: how do we die


NIGHT       
First Line: If I think of a horse wandering about sleeplessly
Last Line: We choose, and soon to be swallowed %suddenly from beneath


NIGHT ABRAHAM CALLED TO THE STARS       
First Line: Do you remember the night abraham first saw
Last Line: Since I am a man in love with the setting stars


NIGHT DUTY       
First Line: During the night I am down there with the ballast
Last Line: His fist thrown forward. Church bells


NIGHT FARMYARD    Poem Text    
First Line: The horse lay on his knees sleeping
Last Line: Far into the upper air around the moon
Subject(s): Nature


NIGHT FARMYARD       
First Line: The horse lay on his knees sleeping
Last Line: Yet we know their soul is gone, risen %far into the upper air about the moon
Subject(s): Nature


NIGHT FROGS    Poem Text    
First Line: I wake and find myself in the woods, far from the castle
Last Line: Night frogs give out the croak of the planet turning
Subject(s): Railroads; Railways; Trains


NIGHT FROGS       
First Line: I wake and find myself in the woods, far from the castle
Last Line: And forth, looking toward the old landing. %night frogs give out the croak of the planet turning
Subject(s): Railroads


NIGHT JOURNEY IN THE COOKING POT       
First Line: I was born during the night sea-journey
Last Line: I am ashamed sitting on the edge of my bed


NIGHT OF FIRST SNOW       
Last Line: The bride is inside the basket where moses sleeps. %what is human lies in the way the basket is rock


NIGHT WINDS       
First Line: Night winds sway the lilacs near the abandoned


NO MOUNTAIN PEAK WITHOUT ITS ROLLING FOOTHILLS       
First Line: A man and a woman linger under a tree


NORTH       
First Line: North is weatheer, winter, and change


NOVEMBER       
First Line: Some aggravations include the whole world
Last Line: To die. It's not an insult %to the world


NOVEMBER DAY AT MCCLURE'S BEACH       
First Line: Alone on the jagged rock at the south end of mc
Last Line: Around a mountain, we are sailing on skeletal eerie craft %over the buoyant ocean


OCEAN RAIN AND MUSIC       
First Line: Rain falls on the shore bushes and the pawky sea
Last Line: And there are certain secrets that stolen children know


OCEAN RISING AND FALLING       
First Line: Each fall it rains a lot in the northern woods
Last Line: Goes up and down saying, 'I need no more.'


OLD BOARDS    Poem Text    
First Line: I love to see boards lying on the ground in early spring
Last Line: As the rooster walks away springily over the dampened hay
Subject(s): Wood; Landscape


OLD BOARDS       
First Line: I love to see boards lying on the ground in early spring
Last Line: As the rooster walks away springily over the dampened hay
Subject(s): Wood


OLD WOMAN FRYING PERCH       
First Line: Have you heard about the boy who walked by
Last Line: About, lighting a fire, frying some perch for the cat


ON A CLIFF    Poem Text    
First Line: Reading the master


ON A FERRY ACROSS CHESAPEAKE BAY       
First Line: On the orchard of the sea far out are whitecaps
Last Line: With golden trumpets...It must march; %and the sea gives up its answer as it falls into itself


ON THE OREGON COAST; FOR WILLIAM STAFFORD    Poem Text    
First Line: The waves come -- the large fourth wave
Last Line: And figure out what to say to our children.
Subject(s): Courage; Legacies; Transience; Waves; Valor; Bravery; Impermanence


ON THE WORD REALITY       
First Line: I hate this world 'reality'
Last Line: Then eat your shoes


ONE DAY AT A FLORIDA KEY       
First Line: Here we are at whitehorse key. It is early morning. The tide is out
Last Line: Boat-strewn florida waters


ONE SOURCE OF BAD INFORMATION    Poem Text    
First Line: There's a boy in about three
Last Line: Five don't work. Right now he's repeating them to you
Subject(s): Self


ONE SOURCE OF BAD INFORMATION       
First Line: There's a boy in you about three
Last Line: Five don't work. Right now he's repeating them to you


OPEN AND CLOSED SPACE       
First Line: With his work, as with a glove, a man feels the universe
Last Line: No, they are moving


OPENING AN OYSTER       
First Line: We think of charlemagne
Last Line: Chickens and crows...Then we know that in attics there are %cloths folded that murdered the great pr


OPENING THE DOOR OF A BARN I THOUGHT WAS EMPTY ...       
First Line: I got there by dusk. I open the double barn doors and go
Last Line: Derment of the large animal, a body with a lamp lit inside, %fluttering on a windy night


ORCHARD KEEPER       
First Line: Snow has fallen on snow for two days behind the keilen farmhouse
Last Line: And the orchard keeper, where is he?
Variant Title(s): Snow Falling On Sno
Subject(s): Farm Life


ORIGIN OF THE PRAISE OF GOD       
First Line: My friend, this body is made of bone and excited pro
Last Line: Arms climb above his head, and says: 'now do you still %say you cannot choose the road?'


OUT OF THE ROLLING OCEAN, THE CROWD       
First Line: It is not only the ant that walks on the carpenter's board
Last Line: Nor the meeting by the altar, nor the rising sun only
Subject(s): Poetry And Poets; Whitman, Walt (1819-1891)


OUT PICKING UP CORN       
First Line: It is late december; I walk through the pasture
Last Line: What they drink is something respectable people do not %wantto take in, %walking in fog near the cli


OYSTER SHELL       
First Line: The shell is scarred, as if it were a rushing river bottom, scratched
Last Line: Dawn, calling across the snow-covered fields


PARCEL       
First Line: It's a parcel of some sort. The exchange
Last Line: The rain didn't care, but no one else %was innocent


PARCEL       
First Line: Sometimes it's money. It's usually in a parcel
Last Line: Some energy was in the car; and no one %was innocent


PASSING AN ORCHARD BY TRAIN    Poem Text    
First Line: Grass high under apple trees
Last Line: To forgive me
Subject(s): Bly, Robert (b. 1926); Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


PASSING AN ORCHARD BY TRAIN       
First Line: Grass high under apple trees
Last Line: I want to tell him %that I forgive him, that I want him %to forgive me
Subject(s): Bly, Robert (b. 1926); Farm Life


PAYING THE MORTGAGE       
First Line: You and I live here, along with many furry moles
Last Line: The furry shadows are bringing gifts to the door


PEOPLE LIKE US    Poem Text    
First Line: There are more like us. All over the world
Last Line: And greatness has a defender, and even in death you're safe
Subject(s): Mankind; Human Race


PEOPLE LIKE US       
First Line: There are more like us. All over the world
Last Line: And greatness has a defender, and even in death you're safe
Subject(s): Mankind


PILGRIM FISH HEADS       
First Line: It is a pilgrim village; heavy rain is falling
Last Line: The one from whom we must protect our nation, %the one whose dark hair hides us from the sun


PLACE IN THE WOODS       
First Line: On the way there a couple of startled wings fluttered, and that
Last Line: Light around the terrifying trophies. Woods are mild that way


PLAYFUL DEEDS OF THE WIND       
First Line: Sometimes there's the wind. Sometimes the wind
Last Line: And a boy at the table who can't say 'please.'


POEM    Poem Text    
First Line: There is dust thay is near us


POEM AGAINST THE BRITISH       
First Line: The wind through the box-elder trees
Last Line: It is also good to be poor, and listen to the wind


POEM AGAINST THE RICH       
First Line: Each day I live, each day the sea of light
Last Line: The stones bow as the saddened armies past


POEM FOR ANDREW MARVELL    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
Subject(s): Marvell, Andrew (1621-1678)


POEM FOR GIAMBATTISTA VICO WRITTEN BY THE PACIFIC       
First Line: We were sitting there, badly blessed, and brooding
Last Line: Dear friends, the joists of life are laid on the winds


POEM FOR JAMES WRIGHT       
First Line: When I read your lines
Last Line: Is still beautiful.
Subject(s): Beauty; Creative Ability; Loss; Salvation; War; Wright, James (1927-1980); Inspiration; Creativity


POEM FOR SAM AT ASSATEAGUE ISLAND       
First Line: Why does a man grieve


POEM IN PRAISE OF SOLITUDE    Poem Text    
First Line: In the deep fall, the body awakes
Subject(s): Solitude; Loneliness


POEM IS SOME REMEMBERING       
First Line: It's morning; there's lamplight, and the room is still
Last Line: It was a poem about heaven, and I wept so.'
Subject(s): Memory; Poetry And Poets


POEM ON SLEEP       
First Line: Then the bright being disguised as a seal dove into ...'


POEMS FOR MAX ERNST, SELS.       


POEMS IN THREE PARTS: 1       
First Line: Oh, on an early morning I think I shall live forever!
Last Line: I am wrapped in my joyful flesh, %as the grass is wrapped inits clouds of green


POEMS IN THREE PARTS: 2       
First Line: Rising from a bed, where I dreamt
Last Line: I have suffered and survived the night %bathed in dark water, like any blade of grass


POEMS IN THREE PARTS: 3       
First Line: The strong leaves of the box elder tree
Last Line: Where we shall sit at the foot of a plant, %and live foreverlike the dust


POEMS ON THE VOYAGE       
First Line: Let us live inside ourselves
Last Line: All night, and live %in the dancing of the bones


POSSIBILITY OF NEW POETRY       
First Line: Singing of niagara, and the huron squaws
Last Line: Folder in a faint light


POTATO       
First Line: The potato reminds one of an alert desert stone. And it belongs
Last Line: Would be a lot of plat...'
Subject(s): Food Habits; Potatoes


PRAISE FOR ALL DANCERS       
First Line: Blessed be the dancers! The dancers
Last Line: In the lattices of the leaves, %in the high woods of the air, %in the wild holes of the sea


PRAYER FOR MY FATHER    Poem Text    
First Line: Your head is still
Subject(s): Fathers


PRAYER FOR MY FATHER       
First Line: Your head is still


PRAYER SERVICE IN AN ENGLISH CHURCH       
First Line: Looking at the open page of the psalm book


PRELUDES       
First Line: I shy from something that comes scraping crossways through
Last Line: Are the doves in the backyard, their cooing


PRIVATE FALL       
First Line: Mots of haydust rise and fall
Last Line: And we tell no one
Subject(s): Autumn; Nature; Seasons


PRODIGAL SON       
First Line: The prodigal son is kneeling in the husks
Last Line: Under the water there's a door the pigs have gone through
Subject(s): Bible; Religion


PURITAN ON HIS HONEYMOON       
First Line: Travelling south, leaves overflow the farms


QUESTION THE BUNDLE HAD       
First Line: When summer was nearly over
Last Line: Were we right to wait


RAINY DAY; FOR JOHN LEE    Poem Text    
First Line: Today it's raining on the trees
Last Line: Received a home
Subject(s): Rain


RAVENS HIDING IN A SHOE    Poem Text    
First Line: There is something men and women living in houses
Subject(s): Truth; Poetry & Poets


READING DR. NULAND'S BOOK       
First Line: We have to think now what it's like
Last Line: Notice the book you're reading: how we die


READING IN A BOAT       
First Line: I was glad to be in that boat, floating
Last Line: And all that time reading a book


READING IN FALL RAIN       
First Line: The fields are black once more
Last Line: I get up and look out. %sure enough, I see %the rooster lifting his legs %high in the wet grass


READING ROBERT CREELEY'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY    Poem Text    
First Line: He adored skating on that small river as a boy
Last Line: Holding to what one loves a triumph of faithfulness
Subject(s): Biography; Children; Creeley, Robert (1926-2005); Biographers; Childhood


READING ROBERT CREELEY'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY       
First Line: He adored skating on that small river as a boy
Last Line: Holding to what one loves - a triumph of faithfulness
Subject(s): Biography; Children


READING SILENCE IN THE SNOWY FIELDS       
First Line: A word I love comes -- snow; then fencepost
Last Line: Then I too speak this beautiful word you


RESEMBLANCE BETWEEN YOUR LIFE AND A DOG       
First Line: I never intended to have this life, believe me
Last Line: Doesn't particularly like you, but gives up, and comes in


RETHINKING WALLACE STEVENS       
First Line: What can I say? You have this funny
Last Line: Like a girl in a white dress


RETURNING POEM       
First Line: Men bring the boat at night inside its slanted house by the shore
Last Line: And the mountain loon returns, and soon is asleep in the mountain lake


RIDERLESS HORSES    Poem Text    
First Line: An owl on the dark waters


RIDERLESS HORSES       
First Line: An owl on the dark waters
Last Line: A man with coins on his eyes %the vast waters %the cry of seagulls


ROMANESQUE ARCHES       
First Line: Tourists have crowded into the half-dark of the enormous
Last Line: Within each of them vault after vault opened endlessly


ROMANS ANGRY ABOUT THE INNER WORLD       
First Line: What shall the world do with its children?
Last Line: To pull it out! %it is like a jagged stone %flying toward them out of the darkness


ROOTS       
First Line: Finally in the bear's cabin I come to earth


RUSSIAN       
First Line: The russians had few doctors on the front line
Last Line: This is my life. Just shut up if you don't understand it.'


RUSTY TIN CAN       
First Line: Someone has stepped on this tin can, which now has the shape of a
Last Line: None of the characters are real but in any case they're all dead now


SACRIFICE IN THE ORCHARD       
First Line: The man with the roman nose sits high
Last Line: All the water on the planet %plunges down at once


SCANDAL       
First Line: The day the minister ran off with the choir director
Last Line: Over and over, and it's a good story


SCHOOLCRAFT'S DIARY WRITTEN ON THE MISSOURI: 1830       
First Line: Waters are loose: from judith and the larb
Last Line: Minutes before it broke, a circling mass %of split-tail swallows came and then were gone
Subject(s): Diaries


SCHUBERTIANA       
First Line: Outside new york, a high place where with one glance you
Last Line: Upward into %the depths


SEA WATER       
First Line: Have you heard about the boy who didn't feel
Last Line: Sweeps over the gunwale, and all hands go down
Subject(s): Sea


SECRETS       
First Line: I walk below the over-bending birches


SEEING THE ECLIPSE IN MAINE    Poem Text    
First Line: It started about noon. On top of mount batte
Subject(s): Eclipses


SEEING THE ECLIPSE IN MAINE       
First Line: It started about noon. On top of mount batte
Last Line: Told a joke. Suns were everywhere at our feet


SHACK POEM       
First Line: I don't even know these roads I walk on


SHADOW GOES AWAY       
First Line: The woman chained to the shore stands bewildered as night comes
Last Line: Pilots in armored cockpits finding their way home through mo


SHAME       
First Line: A man and a woman sit


SHIP'S CAPTAIN LOOKING OVER THE RAIL       
First Line: When a man steps out at dawn, it seems to him that
Last Line: Air, it seems to him he has lived his whole life to %create something dark!


SHOCKS WE PUT OUT PITCHFORKS INTO       
First Line: The shocks said that winter
Last Line: None tired, in the heavy wagon


SILENT IN THE MOONLIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: Silent in the moonlight, no beginning or end
Last Line: Silent in the moonlight, no beginning or end
Subject(s): Togetherness


SITTING ON SOME ROCKS IN SHAW COVE       
First Line: I am in a cliff-hollow, surrounded by fossils and furry
Last Line: Laughing as he runs through the stringy grasses, and gives %back to me my buttons, and the soft slee


SIX WINTER PRIVACY POEMS: 1       
First Line: About four, a few flakes
Last Line: Feeling shoots of joy in the new cold. %by nightfall, wind, %the curtains on the south sway softly


SIX WINTER PRIVACY POEMS: 2       
First Line: My shack has two rooms; I use one
Last Line: As if I appeared where I am now, %in a wet field, snow falling


SIX WINTER PRIVACY POEMS: 3       
First Line: More of the fathers are dying each day
Last Line: Bits of darkness are gathering around them. %the darkness appears as flakes of light


SIX WINTER PRIVACY POEMS: 4. ON MEDITATION       
First Line: There is a solitude like black mud!
Last Line: I can't tell if this joy %is from the body, or the soul, or a third place!


SIX WINTER PRIVACY POEMS: 5. LISTENING TO BACH       
First Line: Inside this music there is someone
Last Line: Who is not well described by the names %of jesus, or jehovah, or the lord of hosts!


SIX WINTER PRIVACY POEMS: 6       
First Line: When I woke, a new snow had fallen
Last Line: I am alone, yet someone else is with me, %drinking coffee, looking out at the snow


SLEET STORM ON THE MERRITT PARKWAY    Poem Text    
First Line: I look out at the white sleet covering the still streets
Subject(s): Americans; United States; America


SLEET STORM ON THE MERRITT PARKWAY       
First Line: I look out at the white sleet covering the still streets
Last Line: The slave systems of rome and greece, and no one agreed
Subject(s): Americans; United States


SLOW MUSIC       
First Line: The building not open today. The sun crowds in through the
Last Line: The stones have been gradually walking backwards out of the %sea


SMOTHERED BY THE WORLD       
First Line: Chrysanthemums crying out on the borders of death
Last Line: Long and bitter antlers sway in the dark, %the hairy tail howls in the dirt


SNOW GEESE       
First Line: The dark geese treading blowing dakota snows
Last Line: Where, alert and balancing on wide feet, %crossing rows, they walk through the broken stalks


SNOW-MELTING TIME, '66       
First Line: Massive waters fall, water-roar, the old hypnosis
Last Line: I am on a large iron bird sailing past death


SNOWBANKS NORTH OF THE HOUSE    Poem Text    
First Line: Those great sweeps of snow that stop suddenly six feet from the house
Subject(s): Men


SNOWBANKS NORTH OF THE HOUSE       
First Line: Those great sweeps of snow that stop suddenly six feet from the house
Last Line: No one knows why he came, or why he turned away, and did not climb the hill
Subject(s): Men


SNOWFALL IN THE AFTERNOON: 1       
First Line: The grass is half-covered with snow
Last Line: And now the little houses of the grass are growing dark


SNOWFALL IN THE AFTERNOON: 2       
First Line: If I reached my hands down, near the earth
Last Line: I could take handfuls of darkness! %a darkness was always there, which we never noticed


SNOWFALL IN THE AFTERNOON: 3       
First Line: As the snow grows heavier, the cornstalks fade farther
Last Line: And the barn moves nearer to the house. %the barn moves all alone in the growing storm


SNOWFALL IN THE AFTERNOON: 4       
First Line: The barn is full of corn, and moving toward us now
Last Line: Like a hulk blown toward us in a storm at sea; %all the sailors on deck have been blind for many yea


SNOWFALL IN THE NOVEMBER AFTERNOON    Poem Text    
First Line: The grass is half-covered with snow
Subject(s): Snow


SOLITUDE LATE AT NIGHT IN THE WOODS: 1       
First Line: The body is like a november birch facing the moon
Last Line: Nothing but bare trunks climbing like cold fire!


SOLITUDE LATE AT NIGHT IN THE WOODS: 2       
First Line: My last walk in the trees has come. At dawn
Last Line: To the obedient earth. %the trees shall be reaching all the winter


SOLITUDE LATE AT NIGHT IN THE WOODS: 3       
First Line: It is a joy to walk in the bare woods
Last Line: The leaves are down, and touching the soaked earth, %giving off the odor that partridges love


SOME MEN FIND IT HARD TO FINISH SENTENCES       
First Line: Sometimes a man can't say
Last Line: There was something...'


ST. GEORGE, THE DRAGON, AND THE VIRGIN       
First Line: The spiny dragon
Last Line: And the marsh hag %who bore him


STARFISH       
First Line: It is low tide. Fog. I have climbed down the cliffs from
Last Line: Snail-like feelers waving as if nothing had happened, and %nothing has


START OF A LATE AUTUMN NOVEL       
First Line: The boat has the smell of oil, and something whirrs all the time
Last Line: When the ship sailed


STORM       
First Line: The man on a walk suddenly meets the old
Last Line: Stamping in their stalls


STORM       
First Line: A sadness comes when we think back
Last Line: And the storm says, 'here I come.'


STUMP       
First Line: The stump stands where it is easily overlooked until you


SUCH DIFFERENT WANTS       
First Line: The board floats on the river


SUDDENLY TURNING AWAY    Poem Text    
First Line: Some words come near


SUDDENLY TURNING AWAY       
First Line: Someone comes near, the jaw
Last Line: It cannot be stood against. %and we suffer. The gold discs %fall from our ears. %the sea grows cloud


SUMMER GRASS       
First Line: So much has happened
Last Line: I go and check in


SURPRISED BY EVENING    Poem Text    
First Line: There is unknown dust that is near us
Subject(s): Evening; Sunset; Twilight


SURPRISED BY EVENING       
First Line: There is unkown dust that is near us
Last Line: But, at last, the quiet waters of the night will rise, %and our skin shall see far off, as it does u


SWIMMING CHENANGO LAKE       
First Line: Winter will bar the swimmer soon


TAKING THE HANDS    Poem Text    
First Line: Taking the hands of someone you love


TAKING THE HANDS       
First Line: Taking the hands of someone you love
Last Line: And in the deep valleys of the hand


TAO TE CHING RUNNING       
First Line: If we could only not be eaten by the steep teeth
Last Line: Then the tao te ching would come running across the field


TASTING HEAVEN       
First Line: Some people say that every poem should have
Last Line: Are left over from some larger party


TEETH MOTHER NAKED AT LAST       
First Line: Massive engines lift beautifully from the deck
Last Line: From the chin of the protestant tied in the fire


THAT STORY       
First Line: Have you heard about the man who didn't feel protected?
Last Line: Either...I told you it wasn't a long story


THE ANT ON THE BOARD    Poem Text    
First Line: It is not only the ant that walks on the carpenter's board
Last Line: Nor the meeting by the altar, nor the rising sun only
Subject(s): Nature


THE BEAR AND THE MAN    Poem Text    
First Line: Suppose there were a bear and a man. The bear
Last Line: Coming from far up there, near the north pole.
Subject(s): Animals; Bears; Fathers & Sons; Knowledge


THE BEAUTY OF WOMEN    Poem Text    
First Line: Delicate women with eyes open
Subject(s): Women


THE CHINESE PEAKS; FOR DONALD HALL    Poem Text    
First Line: I love the mountain peak
Last Line: Buried in mist.
Subject(s): Creative Ability; Soul; Inspiration; Creativity


THE CONFUSION OF AMERICA    Poem Text    
First Line: The lace that lay about the bones of danish kings
Subject(s): United States; America


THE CRY GOING OUT OVER PASTURES    Poem Text    
First Line: I love you so much with this curiously alive and lonely
Last Line: For we cannot remain in love with what we cannot name
Subject(s): Love Nature Of


THE DEAD SEAL NEAR MCCLURE'S BEACH    Poem Text    
First Line: Walking north toward the point, I come on a dead seal. From a
Subject(s): Nature


THE DRIED STURGEON    Poem Text    
First Line: I climb down from the bridge at rock island, illinois
Last Line: Clamp of the box car, tapering into sleek woman's death
Subject(s): Sturgeon


THE EXHAUSTED BUG; FOR MY FATHER       
First Line: Here is a tiny., hard-shelled thing. He is the length of a child's tooth, and
Last Line: Father stretched out in his coffin.
Subject(s): Beetles; Curiosities & Wonders; Death; Fathers & Sons; Insects; Enigmas; Oddities; Dead, The; Bugs


THE FAT OLD COUPLE WHIRLING AROUND    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: The drum says that the night we die will be a long night


THE GAIETY OF FORM    Poem Text    
First Line: How sweet to weight the line with all these vowels
Subject(s): Comfort; Creative Ability; Play; Pleasure; Vowels; Inspiration; Creativity


THE GRACKLES    Poem Text    
First Line: Grackles stroll about on on the black floor of sorrow
Last Line: Over the footprints the dreamer made last night
Subject(s): Grackles


THE GREEK SHIPS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: When the water holes go, and the fish flop about


THE HERMIT    Poem Text    
First Line: Darkness is falling through darkness
Subject(s): Death; Dead, The


THE HOCKEY POEM: 1. THE GOALIE    Poem Text    
First Line: The boston college team has gold helmets, under which the long
Subject(s): Hockey


THE HORSES AT THE TANK    Poem Text    
First Line: Every breath taken in by the man
Last Line: Where the spirit horses drink
Subject(s): Horses; Love


THE LIFE OF WEEDS    Poem Text    
First Line: The cry of those being eaten by america


THE MOOSE    Poem Text    
First Line: The arctic moose drinks at the tundra's edge
Subject(s): Moose; Arctic


THE NIGHT ABRAHAM CALLED TO THE STARS    Poem Text    
First Line: Do you remember the night abraham first saw
Subject(s): Abraham


THE PELICANS AT WHITE HORSE KEY    Poem Text    
First Line: When you follow the spiral
Last Line: Set out to float on the sea of repentance
Subject(s): Pelicans; Earth; Poetry & Poets; Repentance


THE POSSIBILITY OF NEW POETRY    Poem Text    
First Line: Singing of niagara, and the huron squaws


THE PRODIGAL SON    Poem Text    
First Line: The prodigal son is kneeling in the husks
Last Line: Under the water there's a door the pigs have gone through
Subject(s): Bible; Religion; Old Age; Theology


THE SYMPATHIES OF THE LONG MARRIED    Poem Text    
First Line: Oh well, let's go on eating the grains of eternity
Subject(s): Anniversaries


THE TESTAMENT    Poem Text    
First Line: Chrysantemums crying out on the borders of death


THE THIRD BODY    Poem Text    
First Line: A man and a woman sit near each other, and they do not long
Last Line: Someone we know of, whom we have never seen
Subject(s): Man-woman Relationship; Contentment


THE TURTLE (1)    Poem Text    
First Line: Rain lifts the lake level, washing the reeds
Last Line: The turtle's head rises outnover the water
Subject(s): Turtles; Tortoises


THE TURTLE (2)    Poem Text    
First Line: How shiny the turtle is, coming out
Last Line: Lying inland on the floor of the old sea
Subject(s): Turtles; Tortoises


THE TURTLE EGGS    Poem Text    
First Line: Climbing on shore to give her brood a home
Last Line: Find their way to the protective sea
Subject(s): Turtles


THE WHOLE MOISTY NIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: The viking ship sails into the full harbor
Last Line: Water pours down, faint flute notes in the sound of the water
Subject(s): Water


THE YELLOW DOT    Poem Text    
First Line: God does what she wants. She has very large
Last Line: A rembrandt drawing if you put it down
Subject(s): God; Women; Death


THINGS TO THINK    Poem Text    
First Line: Think in ways you've never thought before
Last Line: Been decided that if you lie down no one will die
Subject(s): Reason; Intellect; Rationalism; Brain; Mind; Intellectuals


THINGS TO THINK       
First Line: Think in ways you've never thought before
Last Line: Been decided that if you lie down no one will die
Subject(s): Reason


THINKER'S DOG       
First Line: Oh well. The man whose head thinks on a pillow
Last Line: The one so many men and women want to kill


THINKING ABOUT OLD JOBS       
First Line: Well, let's say this morning is all of life there is
Last Line: Have to live in the way we did then: let's talk


THIRD BODY       
First Line: A man and a woman sit near each other, and they do not long
Last Line: Someone we know of, whom we have never seen
Subject(s): Love


THIS WORLD IS A CONFUSION OF THREE WORLDS    Poem Text    
First Line: The dark figures of politics hover in the air
Subject(s): China; New York City; Manhattan; New York, New York; The Big Apple


THOSE BEING EATEN BY AMERICA       
First Line: The cry of those being eaten by america
Last Line: The world will soon break up into small colonies of the saved


THOUGHTS       
First Line: There's something dangerous
Last Line: Tell you that rembrandt is a good listener


THREE KINDS OF PLEASURES    Poem Text    
First Line: Sometimes, riding in a car, in wisconsin
Last Line: And the ditches along the road half full of a private snow
Subject(s): Environment; Fields; Environmental Protection; Ecology; Conservation; Pastures; Meadows; Leas


THREE KINDS OF PLEASURES       
First Line: Sometimes, riding in a car, in wisconsin
Last Line: And the ditches along the road half full of a private snow
Subject(s): Environment; Fields


THREE PRESIDENTS: ANDREW JACKSON       
First Line: I want to be a white horse!
Last Line: A horse that runs over wooden bridges, and sleeps %in abandoned barns


THREE PRESIDENTS: JOHN F. KENNEDY       
First Line: I want to be a stream of water falling
Last Line: And when I ascend the third time, I will fall forever, %missing the earth entirely


THREE PRESIDENTS: THEODORE ROOSEVELT       
First Line: When I was president, I crushed snails with my bare teeth
Last Line: And lets the marriage bed fall; a stone that leaps into the water, %carrying the robber down with hi


THREE STANZAS: 1       
First Line: The knight and his lady %turned to stone but happy
Last Line: Outside of time


THREE STANZAS: 2       
First Line: Jesus held up a coin
Last Line: A profile without love- %power recycling


THREE STANZAS: 3       
First Line: A wet sword %wipes out all memories
Last Line: And swordbelts rusting


THREE-DAY FALL RAIN       
First Line: The three-day %october rain blows
Last Line: Being rowed to the other shore


TO PRESIDENT BUSH AT THE START OF THE GULF WAR    Poem Text    
First Line: This thin-lipped king with his helmeted head
Last Line: Waves to them, gestures to the young to die
Subject(s): Bush, George; Iraq War (2003)


TO PRESIDENT BUSH AT THE START OF THE GULF WAR       
First Line: This thin-lipped king with his helmeted head
Last Line: Waves to them, gestures to the young to die
Subject(s): Men; War


TRAFFIC       
First Line: The semitrailer crawls through the fog
Last Line: The chain breaks and grows back together all the time


TREE AND THE SKY       
First Line: The tree is walking around in the rain
Last Line: When snowflakes will throw themselves out in space


TURKISH PEARS IN AUGUST    Poem Text    
First Line: Sometimes a poem has her own husband
Last Line: As turkish pears picked in the garden in august.
Variant Title(s): Snow Falling On Snow
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets; Food & Eating


TURNING AWAY FROM LIES       
First Line: If we are truly free, and live in a free country
Last Line: The thieves are crying in the wild asparagus


TURTLE (1)       
First Line: Rain lifts the lake level, washing the reeds
Subject(s): Turtles


TURTLE (2)       
First Line: How shiny the turtle is, coming out
Last Line: Lying inland on the floor of the old sea
Subject(s): Turtles


TWELFTH NIGHT       
First Line: At twelfth night twilight now


TWINS OF A GAZELLE WHICH FEED AMONG THE LILIES       
First Line: Antlers butting against the full moon
Last Line: Zeugma. Zucchettol. Zoo


TWO CITIES       
First Line: There is a stretch of water, a city on each side
Last Line: It's a friend's voice: 'take up your grave and walk'


TWO PEOPLE AT DAWN       
First Line: The sun orange and rose


TWO RAMAGES FOR OLD MASTERS    Poem Text    
First Line: Silent in the moonlight, no beginning or end
Last Line: By the torah and the bible inside the naked seed.
Subject(s): Immortality; Man-woman Relationships; Poetry & Poets; Religion; Teaching & Teachers; Time; Whitman, Walt (1819-1891); Male-female Relations; Theology; Educators; Professors


TWO RAMAGES FOR OLD MASTERS        Recitation by Author
First Line: Silent in the moonlight
Last Line: By the torah and the bible inside the naked seed.
Subject(s): Immortality; Man-woman Relationships; Poetry & Poets; Religion; Teaching & Teachers; Time; Whitman, Walt (1819-1891); Male-female Relations; Theology; Educators; Professors


TWO RIVER       
First Line: Inside us there is a river born in the good cold


TWO SOUNDS WHEN WE SIT BY THE OCEAN       
First Line: Waves rush up, pause, and drag pebbles back around
Last Line: The pacific islands...And the donkey the disciples will %find standing beside the white wall


TWO VIEWS OF TWO GHOST TOWNS       
First Line: Why speak of memory and death


TWO WAYS TO WRITE POEMS       
First Line: I am who I am.' I wonder what one has to pay
Last Line: Yeats had to pay in order to do that


UNANSWERED LETTERS    Poem Text    
First Line: Strips of august sun come in thjrough shutters


UNDER PRESSURE       
First Line: Powerful engines from the blue sky
Last Line: The dark hull of society keeps on going


UNEASINESS IN FALL       
First Line: The fall has come, clear as the eyes of chickens
Last Line: Burnt, even the young sun is lost, %wandering over earth as the october night comes down
Variant Title(s): Silenc


UNREST IN 1961       
First Line: A strange unrest hovers over the nation
Last Line: And businessmen fall on their knees in the dungeons of sleep


UPWARD MOON AND THE DOWNWARD MOON       
First Line: The sun goes down, each munute the air darker. The
Last Line: Will be with him? He will meet another prisoner in the %dungeon, perhaps the baker


VERMEER       
First Line: It's not a sheltered world. The noise begins over there, on the
Last Line: I am not empty, I am open'


VERMONT: INDIAN SUMMER       
First Line: Unseasonable %as bees in april


VISITING EMILY DICKINSON'S GRAVE WITH ROBERT FRANCIS       
First Line: Robert francis has moved, since his stroke, into town, and he takes
Subject(s): Dickinson, Emily (1830-1886); Francis, Robert (1901-1987)


VISITING EMILY DICKINSON'S GRAVE WITH ROBERT FRANCIS       
First Line: The black iron fence closes the graves in
Last Line: And we clamber out of sleep, holding on to it with our hands
Subject(s): Dickinson, Emily (1830-1886); Francis, Robert (1901-1987)


VISITING EMILY DICKINSON'S GRAVE WITH ROBERT FRANCIS       
First Line: Robert francis has moved, since his stroke, into town, and he takes
Last Line: Us?...For this I have abandoned all my other lives.'
Subject(s): Dickinson, Emily (1830-1886)


VISITING SAND ISLAND       
First Line: Somebody showed off and tried to tell the truth
Last Line: Tell him the fox has long since eaten his dinner


VISITING THE EIGHTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD POET       
First Line: The eighty-five-year-old man stands up
Last Line: Who stands up and says, 'no doubt you've already lived this?'
Subject(s): Old Age; Poetry And Poets


VISITING THE FARALLONES       
First Line: The farallones seals clubbed
Last Line: And other worlds I do not see: %the old people's home %at dusk, the slow %murmur of conversation


WAGON AND THE CLIFF       
First Line: The pin fails, and the wagon goes over the cliff
Last Line: These peoms are windows blown open by winter wind


WAITING FOR THE STARS    Poem Text    
First Line: How much I long for the night to come
Last Line: The thirst for the dark heavens.
Subject(s): Creative Ability; Desire; Legacies; Night; Inspiration; Creativity; Bedtime


WAKING FROM SLEEP    Poem Text    
First Line: Inside the veins there are navies setting forth
Subject(s): Morning; Waking


WAKING FROM SLEEP    Poem Text    
First Line: Inside the veins there are navies setting forth
Subject(s): Waking


WAKING FROM SLEEP       
First Line: Inside the veins there are navies setting forth
Last Line: Our whole body is like a harbor at dawn; %we now that our master has left us for the day
Subject(s): Waking


WAKING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: I want to be true to what I have heard


WAKING ON THE FARM    Poem Text    
First Line: I can remember the early mornings - how the stubble
Subject(s): Morning; Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


WAKING ON THE FARM       
First Line: I can remember the early mornings -- how the stubble
Last Line: But the water kept something in it of the early morning


WALKING SWIFTLY    Poem Text    
First Line: When I wake, I hear sheep eating apple peels just outside the scfreen
Last Line: And carves oceanic waves into the dragon's mane
Variant Title(s): Finding An Old Ant Mansion
Subject(s): Art & Artists


WALKING SWIFTLY       
First Line: When I wake, I hear sheep eating apple peels just
Last Line: That lasts forever. The artist walks swiftly to his studio, %and carves oceanic waves into the drago


WALLACE STEVENS AND MOZART       
First Line: Oh wallace stevens, dear friend
Last Line: No one screaming, no one in pain, no one afraid


WALLACE STEVENS IN THE FOURTH GRADE       
First Line: In the fourth grade he sat on his school bench
Last Line: The boy on the bench can become in poems a god


WALLACE STEVENS' LETTERS    Poem Text    
First Line: Wallace stevens comes hurrying down from the mountain
Last Line: Hurries in, stiff and stern and almost like a hero.
Subject(s): Doubt; Freedom; Immortality; Stevens, Wallace (1879-1955); Skepticism; Liberty


WALTZ (1)       
First Line: There's a man -- you know whom I mean
Last Line: To say goodbye -- even just going to the grocery


WALTZ (2)       
First Line: One man I know keeps saying that we don't need
Last Line: To say goodbye -- even just going to the grocery


WANTING MORE APPLAUSE AT A CONFERENCE       
First Line: It's something about envy. I won't say I'm envious
Last Line: Much, want more, even what belongs to the poor


WANTING SUMPTUOUS HEAVENS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: No one grumbles among the oyster clans
Subject(s): Contentment


WANTING TO EXPERIENCE ALL THINGS       
First Line: The blind horse among the cherry trees
Last Line: To light the road. Suddenly I am flying, %I follow my own fiery traces through the night!


WAR AND SILENCE       
First Line: The bombers spread out, temperature steady
Last Line: Filaments of death grow out. %the sheriff cuts off his black legs %and nails them to a tree


WARNING TO THE READER    Poem Text    
First Line: Sometimes farm granaries become especially beautiful when all the oats
Last Line: So I wouldn't perish, and that's a lot more important to me
Subject(s): Books; Poetry Readings; Reading


WARNING TO THE READER       
First Line: Sometimes farm granaries become especially beautiful when all the oats
Last Line: A skull on the open boardwood floor
Subject(s): Books; Poetry Readings


WATCHER       
First Line: Inside us there is a listener who listens for what we
Last Line: And growth, and I pour more wine into my glass than into %yours


WATCHING TELEVISION       
First Line: Sounds are heard too high for ears
Subject(s): Television; Tv


WATCHING TELEVISION       
First Line: Sounds are heard too high for ears
Last Line: The spirit breaks, a puff of dust floats up, %like a house in nebraska that suddenly explodes
Subject(s): Television


WATER       
First Line: The bird dips to take some water in its bill


WATER DRAWN UP INTO THE HEAD       
First Line: Now do you understgand the men who laugh all night in their sleep
Last Line: Leaving only the other one


WATER UNDER THE EARTH       
First Line: O yes, I love you, book of my confessions
Last Line: Who can feel his children through all distance and time


WATERING THE HORSE    Poem Text    
First Line: How strange to think of giving up all ambition
Subject(s): Ambition


WATERING THE HORSE       
First Line: How strange to think of giving up all ambition!
Last Line: The white flake of snow %that has just fallen on the horse'smane!


WE LOVE THIS BODY       
First Line: My friend, this body is made of energy compacted and
Last Line: Face, fresh after love-making,more full of joy than a wag- %onload of hay


WEEK OF POEMS AT BENNINGTON: FRIDAY. WOUNDING OTHERS       
First Line: Well I do it, and it's done
Last Line: In time. That's what you say


WEEK OF POEMS AT BENNINGTON: MONDAY. WHEN THE CAT STOLE THE MILK       
First Line: Well there it is. There's nothing to do
Last Line: Posters, and we would never be found


WEEK OF POEMS AT BENNINGTON: SATURDAY. NOTHING CAN BE DONE       
First Line: Don't tell me there's nothing that can be done
Last Line: You weren't going anywhere


WEEK OF POEMS AT BENNINGTON: SUNDAY. THE DOG'S EARS       
First Line: A little snow. Coffee. The bowled-over branches
Last Line: And bits of ice hung on the dog's ears


WEEK OF POEMS AT BENNINGTON: SUNDAY. WHAT TO DO WITH OBJECTS       
First Line: A little snow. Coffee. The bowleld-over branches
Last Line: All these joys? Someone says, 'you take them'


WEEK OF POEMS AT BENNINGTON: THURSDAY. WE ONLY SAY THAT       
First Line: There are so many things to love around here
Last Line: Let's flirt and not flirt. Let's play cards and laugh


WEEK OF POEMS AT BENNINGTON: TUESDAY. BEING HAPPY ALL NIGHT       
First Line: It's as if the mice stayed warm inside the snow
Last Line: We took dew from the grass and washed our eyes


WEEK OF POEMS AT BENNINGTON: WEDNESDAY. THE WIDOWED FRIEND       
First Line: I hear rustlings from the next rooms; and he is ready
Last Line: Stay, friend, be with us, tell me what happened'


WEEK ON THE OREGON COAST       
First Line: Being born at all amounts to peering out from a cliff
Last Line: That so many jellyfish spread their arms on the sea


WHAT BILL STAFFORD WAS LIKE       
First Line: With small steps he climbed very high mountains
Last Line: #name?


WHAT FRIGHTENED US       
First Line: Drops of rain fall into black fields


WHAT IS SORROW FOR?    Poem Text    
First Line: What is sorrow for? It is a storehouse
Last Line: Or in the valley of sorrows spread your wings
Subject(s): Grief


WHAT KEPT HORACE ALIVE    Poem Text    
First Line: Men and women spend only a moment in paradise
Subject(s): Mortality


WHAT KEPT HORACE ALIVE       
First Line: Men and women spend only a moment in paradise
Last Line: Of death that kept horace alive so long


WHAT MOVES AND DOESN'T MOVE       
First Line: At night desire and longing enter, and we feel water


WHAT THE ANIMALS PAID    Poem Text    
First Line: The hampshire ewes standing in their wooden pens
Last Line: In the farm way, I am writing this poem today
Subject(s): Animals; Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


WHAT THE ANIMALS PAID       
First Line: The hampshire ewes standing in their wooden pens
Last Line: In the farm way, I am writing this poem today
Subject(s): Animals; Farm Life


WHAT THE FOX AGREED TO DO: 1       
First Line: Herbs, turtle-faced porcupine babies
Last Line: Fur, pawmarks on shore, %the hair in the mouse's ear


WHAT THE FOX AGREED TO DO: 2       
First Line: This descent is the wheeling of the inexhaustible
Last Line: Bear, whose furry tail %dips again and again into the ocean


WHAT THE FOX AGREED TO DO: 3       
First Line: And we are rheumatic pilgrims, stalking
Last Line: In the night air, %driving flocks of angel cattle before them


WHAT THE FOX AGREED TO DO: 4       
First Line: Long seeds drop into november loam
Last Line: The mother throws off her clothes, descending- %the virgin is lost among the other stars


WHAT THE FOX AGREED TO DO: 5       
First Line: And the shells, the mollusc shells, grow large
Last Line: Smoke twists up through water, %the moon rockets up from the sea floor


WHAT THE FOX AGREED TO DO: 6       
First Line: The fox agrees to leap into the ocean
Last Line: The human being feels a splash around him. %hebrews straddle the slippery dolphins


WHAT THINGS WANT    Poem Text    
First Line: You have to let things


WHAT WE PROVIDE       
First Line: Every breath taken in by the man


WHEN I AM WITH YOU    Poem Text    
First Line: When I am with you, two notes of the sarod
Subject(s): Childhood Memories; Mortality


WHEN I AM WITH YOU       
First Line: When I am with you, two notes of the sarod
Last Line: Of the fence. Tell that boy it isn't time


WHEN I WAS TWENTY-SIX    Poem Text    
First Line: Why god allowed montserrat to fall
Last Line: I was unfaithful even to infidelity
Subject(s): Change; Growth


WHEN I WAS TWENTY-SIX       
First Line: Why god allowed montserrat to fall
Last Line: I was unfaithful even to infidelity
Subject(s): Change; Growth


WHEN MY DEAD FATHER CALLED       
First Line: Last night I dreamt my father called to us
Last Line: Forget he was alone in winter in some town?


WHEN THE DUMB SPEAK    Poem Text    
First Line: There is a joyful night in which we lose


WHEN THE DUMB SPEAK       
First Line: There is a joyful night in which we lose
Last Line: The house fallen, %the gold sticks broken, %then shall the talkative be silent, %and the dumb shall


WHEN THE MASTER IS UNTIED    Poem Text    
First Line: As soon as the master is untied, the bird soars


WHEN THE MASTER IS UNTIED       
First Line: As soon as the master is untied, the bird soars'
Last Line: An old sadness returns in the sorrowing dust


WHEN THRESHING TIME ENDS       
First Line: There is a time. Things end
Last Line: The fire has moved


WHERE WE MUST LOOK FOR HELP       
First Line: The dove returns; it found no resting place
Last Line: The crow, the crow, the spider-colored crow, %the crow shall find new mud to walk upon


WHO IS THIS ONE       
First Line: Who is this who is constantly coming closer


WHOLE MOISTY NIGHT       
First Line: The viking ship sails into the full harbor


WHY WE DON'T DIE       
First Line: In late september many voices
Last Line: Let's go get it


WILDEBEEST IN THE SERENGETI       
First Line: Once more the lower world is becoming confused. Oh
Last Line: The moses of the beaver does not see the promised land


WINDY NIGHT IN SUMMER       
First Line: The weeping willow sends its shadows out


WINTER AFTERNOON BY THE LAKE       
First Line: Black trunks, black branches, and white snow
Last Line: Ready to re-enter that stillness. 'not yet.'


WINTER NIGHT       
First Line: The storm puts its lips to the house
Last Line: The storm will blow everything inside us away


WINTER OF 1947, SELS       
First Line: Daytime at school: the somber swarming fortress
Last Line: Sent me each morning off to sleep


WINTER POEM    Poem Text    
First Line: The quivering wings of the winter ant
Last Line: To breathe, to sense another, and to wait
Subject(s): Winter; Ants; Relationships


WINTER POEM       
First Line: The quivering wings of the winter ant
Last Line: The winter ant, the way of those %who are sounded and want to live: %to breathe, to sense another, a


WITHIN THE ONION       
First Line: When you follow the spiral
Last Line: The other worships water. %from then our sun rises
Subject(s): Bly, Robert (b. 1926)


WOMAN BEWILDERED       
First Line: I see birds below me with massive shoulders
Last Line: My mother's bed looms up in the dark. %the woman in chains stands bewildered as night comes


WORDS BARELY HEARD       
First Line: The bear in his heavy fur rises from the bed


WORDS RISING    Poem Text    
First Line: I open my journal, write a few
Last Line: Who sleeps at night inside his volin case
Subject(s): Language


WORDS RISING       
First Line: I open my journal, write a few
Last Line: His bearded words, and on the setter of songs %who sleeps at night inside his violin case
Subject(s): Animals


WORDS THE DREAMER SPOKE TO MY FATHER IN MAINE    Poem Text    
First Line: Ocean light as we wake reminds us how dark
Last Line: We could be there if we could lift our eyes
Subject(s): Conversation; Language; Maine (state); Sea; Words; Vocabulary; Ocean


WORDS THE DREAMER SPOKE TO MY FATHER IN MAINE       
First Line: Ocean light as we wake reminds us how dark
Last Line: We could be there if we could lift our eyes.'
Subject(s): Conversation; Language; Maine (state); Sea


WORDS WITH WALLACE STEVENS       
First Line: You were so rash. I'd play saying
Last Line: Dress, lolling in the garden, longing....
Subject(s): Collaboration; Courage; Faith; God; Innocence; Stevens, Wallace (1879-1955); Valor; Bravery; Belief; Creed


WRITTEN AT MULE HOLLOW, UTAH       
First Line: After three days of talk, I long for silence and come
Last Line: We sustain the brilliant glass skeleton on which we %hang


WRITTEN IN DEJECTION NEAR ROME       
First Line: What if these long races go on repeating themselves
Last Line: Surrounded by bankers whose fingers have grown long and %slender, %piercing through rotting bark for


WRITTEN NEAR ROME    Poem Text    
First Line: What if these long races go on repeating themselves


YELLOW DOT       
First Line: God does what she wants. She has very large
Last Line: A rembrandt drawing if you put it down
Subject(s): God; Women