Saturday, 26 March 2011

Edward Hirsch (20/1/50) - In Spite of Everything, the Stars.

Like a stunned piano, like a bucket
of fresh milk flung into the air
or a dozen fists of confetti
thrown hard at a bride
stepping down from the altar,
the stars surprise the sky.
Think of dazed stones
floating overhead, or an ocean
of starfish hung up to dry. Yes,
like a conductor's expectant arm
about to lift toward the chorus,
or a juggler's plates defying gravity'
or a hundred fastballs fired at once
and freezing the sky over the city.

And that's why drunks leaning up
against abandoned buildings, women
hurrying home on deserted side streets,
policemen turning blind corners, and
even thieves stepping from alleys
all stare up at once. Why else do
sleepwalkers move toward the windows,
or old men drag fllimsy lawn chairs
onto fire escapes, or hardened criminals
press sad foreheads to steel bars?
Because the night is alive with lamps!
That's why in dark houses all over the city
dreams stir in the pillows, a million
plumes of breath rise into the sky.

At midnight the soul dreams of a small fire
of stars flaming on the other side of the sky,
but the body stares into an empty night sheen,
a hollow-eyed darkness. Poor luckless angels,
feverish old loves: don't seperate yet.
Let what rises live with what descends.

FROM -Wild Gratitude
Knopf,New York, 1986....

Had too much too think earlier, so now I rest in Wood Green,  at sisters ,still looking out, tomorrow  will have a look  at river.. sweet dreams... back soon.


  1. My son sent me a link to this poem, and as soon as I began to read, I recognized it but couldn't recall where I'd read it. He said I'd probably seen it on the Max train or the bus, and then I remembered reading and rereading the first verse as I rode the bus home from the library. I found it beautiful then, as I do now. The imagery is wonderful, especially, " ... the stars surprise the sky." So perfect. Thank you for sharing.

  2. glad you enjoyed it, your more than welcome, I find it quite soothing and rythmically it works a treat. Regards.