Sunday, May 30, 2004

Poem for Sunday

By Peter Everwine

The light pulling away from trees,
the trees speaking in shadows
to whatever listens . . .

Something as common as water
turns away from our faces
and leaves.

The stars rise out of the hills
-- old kings and animals
marching in their thin tunnels of light.

Once more I find myself
standing on a dark pier, holding
an enormous rope of silence.


From today's Poet's Choice column in The Washington Post Book World by Edward Hirsch. I reproduce the poems from this column every Sunday for two reasons: one is that you have to sign up at the Post site to read the paper, which I know a lot of people don't like to do, but the more important reason is that because of the cheap html, the line breaks, spacing and centering is entirely lost in the online version of the column. My in-laws don't always pick up the Sunday Post so I don't always have access to it when I'm away, but they got it today.

"I have taken refuge from the news these past few weeks in Peter Everwine's selected and new poems, From the Meadow," writes Hirsch. "There is something shining and pure at the heart of Everwine's cleansing work...his lyrics have a mysterious quietness, a grave simplicity. He is a pastoral's as if he needs to hike into the fields in order to look back with equanimity at his own experience."

There's also a stunning review of a Holocaust memoir, Let Me Go, by a woman whose mother was an enthusiastic, rabidly anti-Semitic SS guard at two Nazi death camps.

My in-laws are at church and I'm not sure what we're doing yet today; it's another gorgeous cloudless morning so hopefully it will be something outside. Oh, and I had a brief glimpse through a window before he fled, so there's glare from the glass, but here is Maximus again:

"Are you not entertained?"

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