Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Of Being Numerous, 13

          unable to begin
At the beginning, the fortunate
Find everything already here. They are shoppers,
Choosers, judges; . . . And here the brutal
is without issue, a dead end.
                                          They develop
Argument in order to speak, they become
unreal, unreal, life loses
solidity, loses extent, baseball's their game
because baseball is not a game
but an argument and difference of opinion
makes the horse races. They are ghosts that endanger

One's soul. There is change
In an air
That smells stale, they will come to the end
Of an era
First of all peoples
And one may honorably keep
His distance
If he can.

Credit


From New Collected Poems. Copyright © 2002 by Linda Oppen. Used with permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Author


George Oppen

Born in 1908, George Oppen was known for both his poetry and his political activism, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1969

Date Published: 2002-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/being-numerous-13