Not to Know How to Live
All modesty is false modesty when it comes to poems, or to the silence in which poems begin before they are words, when they are still daisies at the foot of the dead Christ in an anonymous painting, 13th century. Not to know how to live is one thing, and nothing to be ashamed of. But not to know how to sit in front of those daisies with tears in my eyes: what a waste that would be.
Copyright © 2017 Jim Moore. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Kenyon Review, November/December 2017
Jim Moore was born on June 22, 1943, in Decatur, Illinois. He began writing in the mid-1960s and received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota and his master’s degree from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His poetry collections include Underground: New and Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2014), Invisible Strings (Graywolf Press, 2011), and Lightning at Dinner (Graywolf Press, 2005).
Date Published: 2018-04-23
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/not-know-how-live