Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday Poetry: "To Sleep," by Henri Cole

Recently, I had poet Henri Cole's sixth book, Blackbird and Wolf, recommended to me, so I've been giving that a read over the past few days. Cole's poetry uses an interesting mix of imagery, sensation, and autobiography, and his poems tend to investigate the human experience while trying to understand the lives of other people and animals.

"To Sleep"
Then out of the darkness leapt a bare hand
that stroked my brow, "Come a long, child:
stretch out your feet under the blanket.
Darkness will give you back, unremembering.
Do not be afraid." So I put down my book
and pushed like a finger through sheer silk,
the autobiographical part of me, the am,
snatched up to a different place, where I was
no longer my body but something more--
the compulsive, disorderly parts of me
in a state of equalization, everything sliding off:
war, suicide, love, poverty--as the rebellious,
mortal I, I, I lay, like a beetle irrigating a rose,
my red thoughts in a red shade all I was.

Blackbird and Wolf available from Barnes & Noble in hardcover and paperback.


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