If It All Went Up in Smoke
that smoke would remain the forever savage country poem's light borrowed light of the landscape and one's footprints praise from distance in the close crowd all that is strange the sources the wells the poem begins neither in word nor meaning but the small selves haunting us in the stones and is less always than that help me I am of that people the grass blades touch and touch in their small distances the poem begins
From New Collected Poems by George Oppen, copyright © 1978 by George Oppen. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.
Born in 1908, George Oppen was known for both his poetry and his political activism, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1969
Date Published: 1978-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/if-it-all-went-smoke