Published on Academy of American Poets (


If you want my apartment, sleep in it
but let's have a clear understanding:
the books are still free agents.

If the rocking chair's arms surround you
they can also let you go,
they can shape the air like a body.

I don't want your rent, I want
a radiance of attention
like the candle's flame when we eat,

I mean a kind of awe
attending the spaces between us---
Not a roof but a field of stars.


From Scaffolding: Selected Poems by Jane Cooper, published by Tilbury House, Publishers. Copyright © 1993 Jane Cooper. Used with permission.


Jane Cooper

Jane Cooper was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1924. 

Date Published: 1993-01-01

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