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


Fairbanks Under the Solstice

Slowly, without sun, the day sinks
toward the close of December.
It is minus sixty degrees.

Over the sleeping houses a dense
fog rises—smoke from banked fires,
and the snowy breath of an abyss
through which the cold town
is perceptibly falling.

As if Death were a voice made visible, 
with the power of illumination...

Now, in the white shadow
of those streets, ghostly newsboys
make their rounds, delivering 
to the homes of those
who have died of the frost
word of the resurrection of Silence.

Credit


Excerpted from The Owl in the Mask of the Dreamer: Collected Poems, copyright © 1993 by John Haines. Used with permission of Graywolf Press.

Author


John Haines

John Haines was the recipient of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Library of Congress.

Date Published: 1993-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/fairbanks-under-solstice