The Last Fisherman
He will set his camp beside a cold lake
And when the great fish leap to his lure, shout high
To three crows battling a northern wind.
Now when the barren twilight closes its circle
Will fear the yearning ghosts come for his catch
And watch intently trees move in the dark.
Fear as the last fire cringes and sputters,
Heap the branches, strike the reluctant ashes,
Lie down restless, rise when the dawn grays.
Time runs out as the hook lashes the water
Day after day, and as the days wane
Wait still for the wonder.
Copyright © by the Estate of Hyam Plutzik. All rights reserved.
Hyam Plutzik was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1911. During his lifetime, he published three poetry collections: Aspects of Proteus (Harper and Row, 1949), Apples from Shinar (Wesleyan University Press, 1959; 2011), and Horatio (Atheneum, 1961), all three of which were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Other published works include Hyam Plutzik: The Collected Poems (BOA Editions, 1987) and Letter from a Young Poet (Trinity/Watkinson/Books & Books, 2016). He died in 1962.
Date Published: 2014-09-03
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/last-fisherman