A Poem for a Thursday #77

Photo by reza shayestehpour on Unsplash
Peter Everwine was an American poet (1930-2018) who won many awards including the Lamont Poetry Prize and the Pushcart Prize. He published eight collections of poetry. Philip Levine said of his poetry that "each moment is recorded, laid bare, and sanctified, which is to say the poems possess a quality one finds only in the greatest poetry." Everwine also translated poems in the Hebrew and Aztec languages.

Toward evening, as the light failed
and the pear tree at my window darkened,
I put down my book and stood at the open door,
the first raindrops gusting in the eves,
a smell of wet clay in the wind.
Sixty years ago, lying beside my father,
half asleep, on a bed of pine boughs as rain
drummed against our tent, I heard
for the first time a loon's sudden wail
drifting across that remote lake-
a loneliness like no other,
though what I heard as inconsolable
may have been only the sound of something
untamed and nameless
singing itself to the wilderness around it
and to us until we slept. And thinking of my father
and of good companions gone
into oblivion, I heard the steady sound of rain
and the soft lapping of water, and did not know
whether it was grief or joy or something other 
that surged against my heart 
and held me listening there so long and late. 

Peter Everwine

No comments