Published on Academy of American Poets (

Pythagorean Silence [excerpt]


age of earth and us all chattering

a sentence   or character

steps out to seek for truth   fails 

into a stream of ink   Sequence 
trails off

must go on

waving fables and faces   War 
doings of the war

manoeuvering between points 

any two points     which is 
what we want   (issues at stake)

bearings and so

holes in a cloud   are minutes passing 
which is

view   odds of images swept rag-tag

silver and grey

seconds   forgeries engender 
(are blue)   or blacker

flocks of words flying together   tense 
as an order

cast off to crows


From The Europe of Trusts by Susan Howe. Copyright © 1990 by Susan Howe. Reprinted by permission of New Directions. All rights reserved.


Susan Howe

Susan Howe is the author of several poetry collections, including Debths (New Directions, 2017). She served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2001 to 2006.

Date Published: 1990-01-01

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