Published on Academy of American Poets (

Evening Storm

I want to paint the livingness of appearances.
            —Marsden Hartley

What of these evening storms
where foam becomes rock—wave
becomes cove. Inside the billow as
you always dreamed it would be
two men collapse into being.
Like so, the rocks give up their
solid stance. If Hart threw
himself from ship to sea, how
can you, Hartley, hardly alive
in this solitude, not find his
eye inside of you. There is a crest
a recurring tall wave that comes
for you. So little light gets through
other than in sea foam your desire
knit to storm—here is your Maine mountain where the upsurge
the passional thrust gets through.


Copyright © 2017 by Sharon Dolin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 17, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I wrote ‘Evening Storm’ when The Met Breuer, in partnership with Poets House, invited me to read my poetry during Met-Fridays in response to a painting in the exhibition Marsden Hartley’s Maine. The themes of homoerotic desire and death are the through lines I found in Hartley’s paintings, which seem to culminate in his late seascapes. The Hart mentioned was his friend Hart Crane, whose name, I only realized in writing this poem, nests orthographically inside Hartley’s own name.”
—Sharon Dolin


Sharon Dolin

Sharon Dolin is the author of Manual for Living (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016). 

Date Published: 2017-05-17

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