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Todd Colby

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About this Poem 

“This poem playfully explores the fact that we are bound to our perceptions of the world by the vessel and environment we exist in. That objects and bodies weigh something on one planet, while on another planet they are ridiculously heavy or light, is absurdly beautiful to me.”
Todd Colby

Watch the Film You Paid to See

Todd Colby

In my bedroom my weight is three times more
than what I’d weigh on Jupiter.
If your kitchen was on Mercury I’d be heavier by half
of you while sitting at your table.
On Uranus, a quarter of my weight is meat,
or an awareness of myself as flesh.
On Venus the light would produce a real volume around me
that would make me look happy in photographs.
This is how it is with quantity in any life. It’s a fact
that on certain planets I’d actually be able to mount
the stairs four at a time. Think of the most beautiful horse
in the world: a ridiculously beautiful golden horse,
with a shimmering coat; it would weigh no more
than an empty handbag on Mars. You need
to get real about these things.

Copyright © 2015 by Todd Colby. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2015 by Todd Colby. Used with permission of the author.

Kevin Young, Cave Canem reading, New York City, 2004
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poem

Do not go gentle into that good night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas
1937
Toi Derricotte speaking with Claudia Rankine and Juan Felipe Herrera backstage. Poets Forum, New York City, 2014
collection

On Dylan Thomas

A collection about the life and writing of poet Dylan Thomas.

Philip Levine Through the Years

Philip Levine
From left: William Wadsworth, Charles Wright, and Philip Levine, 1997
From left: Chris Hosea, Philip Levine, Patricia Smith, Jillian Weise, John Taylor, Carolyn Forché, Cynthia Hogue, and Sylvain Gallais, Poets Forum, New York City, 2013
Philip Levine
Philip and Frannie Levine
From left: Philip Levine, William Matthews, and Lynn Emanuel, 1992
Philip Levine and C. K. Williams, Poets Forum, New York City, 2005
Philip Levine, Poets Forum, New York City, 2013
From left: Robert Hass, Susan Stewart, C. K. Williams, Heather McHugh, Philip Levine, Susan Howe, Yusef Komunyakaa, Galway Kinnell, Ellen Bryant Voigt, and Frank Bidart, Poets Forum, New York City, 2005
From left: Jane Cooper, Philip Levine, and Robert Giroux, Tribute to John Berryman celebration, 1994
Philip Levine, Poets Forum, New York City, 2005