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


Reminder

Torment by appetite
is itself an appetite
dulled by inarticulate,
dogged, daily

loving-others-to-death—
as Chekhov put it, "compassion
down to your fingertips"—
looking on them as into the sun

not in the least for their sake
but slowly for your own
because it causes
the blinded soul to bloom

like deliciousness in dirt,
like beauty from hurt,
their light—their light—
pulls so surely. Let it.

Credit


From New and Selected Poems by Michael Ryan. Copyright © 2004 by Michael Ryan. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Author


Michael Ryan

Born in 1946, the poet Michael Ryan's works have been selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

Date Published: 2004-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/reminder