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1 Hawthorne Poetry- A to Z

This title in other editions

Never: Poems


Never: Poems Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:


Over a dock railing, I watch the minnows, thousands, swirl

themselves, each a minuscule muscle, but also, without the

way to create current, making of their unison (turning, re- infolding,

entering and exiting their own unison in unison) making of themselves a

visual current, one that cannot freight or sway by

minutest fractions the water' s downdrafts and upswirls, the

dockside cycles of finally-arriving boat-wakes, there where

they hit deeper resistance, water that seems to burst into

itself (it has those layers), a real current though mostly

invisible sending into the visible (minnows) arrowing

motion that forces change —

this is freedom. This is the force of faith. Nobody gets

what they want. Never again are you the same. The longing

is to be pure. What you get is to be changed. More and more by

each glistening minute, through which infinity threads itself,

also oblivion, of course, the aftershocks of something

at sea. Here, hands full of sand, letting it sift through

in the wind, I look in and say take this, this is

what I have saved, take this, hurry. And if I listen

now? Listen, I was not saying anything. It was only

something I did. I could not choose words. I am free to go.

I cannot of course come back. Not to this. Never.

It is a ghost posed on my lips. Here: never.

Afterwards And translucence itself, bare, bony, feeding and growing on the manifest,

frets in the small puddles of snowmelt sidewalks and frozen lawns hold up

full of sky.

From this eternity, where we do notresemble ourselves, where

resemblance is finally

beside (as the river is) the point,

and attention can no longer change the outcome of the gaze,

the ear too is finally sated, starlings starting up ladderings of chatter,

all at once all to the left,

invisible in the pruned-back

hawthorn, heard and heard again, and yet again

differently heard, but silting

the head with inwardness and making always a

dispersing but still

coalescing opening in the listener who

cannot look at them exactly,

since they are invisible inside the greens — though screeching-full in

syncopations of yellowest,

fine-thought, finespun

rivering of almost-knowables. Gold is too dark. Featherwork

too thick. When two

appear in flight, straight to the child-sized pond of

melted snow,

and thrash, dunk, rise, shake, rethrashing, reconfiguring through

reshufflings and resettlings the whole body of integrated


they shatter open the blue-and-tree-tip filled-up gaze of

the lawn' s two pools,

breaking and ruffling all the crisp true sky we had seen living

down in that tasseled

earth. How shall we say this happened? Something inaudible

has ceased. Has gone back round to an other side

of which this side' s access was is] this width of sky

deep in

just-greening soil? We left the party without a word.

We did not change, but time changed us. It should be,

it seems, one or the other of us who is supposed to say — lest

there be nothing — here we are. It was supposed to become familiar

(this earth). It was to become ours. Lest there be nothing?

Lest wereach down to touch our own reflection here?

Shouldn' t depth come to sight and let it in, in the end, as the form

the farewell takes: representation: dead men:

lean forward and look in: the raggedness of where the openings

are: precision of the limbs upthrusting down to hell:

the gleaming in: so blue: and that it has a bottom: even a few clouds

if you keep

attending: and something that' s an edge-of: and mind-cracks: and how the

poem is

about that: that distant life: I carry it inside me but

can plant it into soil: so that it becomes impossible

to say that anything swayed

from in to out: then back to is this mine, or yours?: the mind

seeks danger out: it reaches in, would touch: where the subject is emptying,

war is:

morality play: preface: what there is to be thought: love:

begin with the world: let it be small enough.

About the Author

Jorie Graham is the author of 12 collections, including The Dream of the Unified Field which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and teaches at Harvard University.

Product Details

Graham, Jorie
New York
American - General
20th century
Poetry, American
General Poetry
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Series Volume:
no. 00-4754
Publication Date:
9.54x7.57x.62 in. .80 lbs.

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