STORIES and POETRY
Man Stands at the Crossroad and Contemplates Humankind Making
its Way Beyond the Cosmic Machine. Cecilia Bustamante
Literary works by leading poets and thinkers of the English world
P o e m s b y S t a n M i rThough We May Always Be
In our thoughts we may always be autumnal, wish
This poem was taken from the online literary journal FREEVERSE, issue 7, winter 2004. Stan Mir lives in Rhode Island. His poems and reviews have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Fence, Meanjin, Rain Taxi, and Word for/Word.
Copyright © 2005 by Stan Mir, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of U.S. Copyright law, and it may be archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that the editors are notified and no fee is charged for access. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.
Poems by Susan Stewart
To You and For You
When you say you are afraid there is something else there, some figure by the window, or someone coming nearer, a voice in another room that isn't quite a voice, somehow the difference between things and persons and the difference between persons and things, so given and irreducible, becomes like the clouding of the past and the present at the moment when you want to turn toward the future and find yourself leaden with hesitation. I do not know where the dead are, or if they are. It is as easy to say they are with us as to say they are irrevocably gone. The film you saw, where the boy lives in the midst of an after-life, and thinks it is this world, and cannot see all the forces that have gathered against him, is now in your memory and the memory of others - and nowhere else. He was a boy who never lived, but you are alive and your desire to live can overwhelm whatever compels you to forget. You can risk some harm, run up close to the brink, and still you won't know what it is you want to know. We cannot look at the sun, and so we look at pictures. I have seen the soul go out, like a breath, and fill the room before it leaves. And that was the end of it; there was no second end. You ask if they have some intent toward us. Do they think of us as we think of them? Is it fury that drives them, or conscience, or regret? I cannot give you a good explanation, I cannot explain what good is; my hope is you will feel it as a kind of ease. I've known those who are busy with love, very busy, and ever vigilant, those who never take their eyes away, never fall aslant. And they, too, are alive, but they have devoted themselves to fear. And their fear, a second end, is like a form of death. You understand these are questions you are asking of yourself. There is no outside setting them against you. Your mind made these thoughts and your mind will hold you from them.
This poem was taken from the online literary journal FREEVERSE-issue 3, winter 2002. Susan Stewart teaches poetry and aesthetics at the University of Pennsylvania. This poem is from her forthcoming book,Columbarium, to appear with the University of Chicago Press in Autumn 2003. She is also the author of three other books of poems and numerous works of literary and art criticism, including the recent Poetry and the Fate of the Senses.
Copyright © 2003-2005 Susan Stewart all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of U.S. Copyright law, and it may be archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that the editors are notified and no fee is charged for access. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.
Poems by: Matt St. Amand
I bought this volume
Matt St. Amand, of Windsor, Canada, is the author of a collection
of short stories My Sparks Fly Upward, published by The Fiction
Works in 2002, and the charming long poem Forever & a
Day, based on the time-honored theme of
love. The inspiration for Las Chicas (The Girls), a narrative
poem presented here, came to him when two of his pupils (alluded to in the title)
read Neruda’s poems to him in Spanish. For the Hispanic audience, the words Neruda’s poetry
focus very well on love, and the poem reaches its climax with the
last two lines.
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