what art and anti-art to lead us by the sharpness of its definitions connected to all other things this is the bond sung to all distances my distances neither Roman nor barbarian the sky the low sky of poems precise as the low sky that women have sung from the windows of cities sun's light on the sills a poetry of the narrow end of the funnel proximity's salt gales in the narrow end of the funnel the proofs are the images the images overwhelming earth rises up in its light nostalgia of the mud guilts of the foxhole what is a word a name at the limits of devotion to life the terrible knowledge of deception a lie told my loves tragically pitifully had deceived themselves had been betrayed demeaned thrown away shamed degraded stripped naked Think think also of the children the guards laughing the one pride the pride of the warrior laughing so the hangman comes to all dinners Aim we tell each other the children cannot be alone whereupon murder comes to our dinners poem born of a planet the size of a table top garden forest an awning fluttering four-lane highway the instant in the open the moving edge and one is I
From New Collected Poems by George Oppen, copyright © 1975 by George Oppen. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.
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: 1975-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/semite