Post more comments
Want a gift card for being active Forum member? Post comments and win $25 gift card every week.
Rules:
PoemHunter.com will be giving away Amazon.com gift cards (worth $75 in total) every week to first three members ($25 each) who participate most in our forum discussions. You just have to post comments on forum pages, poet pages or poem pages anywhere inside PoemHunter.com
Comments posted needs to be in different pages. Posting more than 1 comment on the same page will only be counted once.
Members can not post comments without being logged in.
PoemHunter.com has the right to cancel or edit this contest.
PoemHunter.com has a right to disqualify or ban member(s) without providing any type of reason, belief or proof in regards to any type of illegal activity or fraud.

Randall Jarrell

(May 6, 1914 – October 14, 1965 / Nashville)

90 North


At home, in my flannel gown, like a bear to its floe,
I clambered to bed; up the globe's impossible sides
I sailed all night—till at last, with my black beard,
My furs and my dogs, I stood at the northern pole.

There in the childish night my companions lay frozen,
The stiff fur knocked at my starveling throat,
And I gave my great sigh: the flakes came huddling,
Were they really my end? In the darkness I turned to my rest.

—Here, the flag snaps in the glare and silence
Of the unbroken ice. I stand here,
The dogs bark, my beard is black, and I stare
At the North Pole . . .
And now what? Why, go back.

Turn as I please, my step is to the south.
The world—my world spins on this final point
Of cold and wretchedness: all lines, all winds
End in this whirlpool I at last discover.

And it is meaningless. In the child's bed
After the night's voyage, in that warm world
Where people work and suffer for the end
That crowns the pain—in that Cloud-Cuckoo-Land

I reached my North and it had meaning.
Here at the actual pole of my existence,
Where all that I have done is meaningless,
Where I die or live by accident alone—

Where, living or dying, I am still alone;
Here where North, the night, the berg of death
Crowd me out of the ignorant darkness,
I see at last that all the knowledge

I wrung from the darkness—that the darkness flung me—
Is worthless as ignorance: nothing comes from nothing,
The darkness from the darkness. Pain comes from the darkness
And we call it wisdom. It is pain.


Anonymous submission.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: pain, alone, silence, night, world, work, child, people, home, death, dog, children, wind

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (90 North by Randall Jarrell )

Enter the verification code :

  • Keith Gaboury (6/10/2005 3:38:00 PM)

    Wow, that's a really depressing poem but I'm still somehow pulled towards it. I really like the line 'Where people work and suffer for the end.' (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. A prayer to my Pagli..., PARTHA SARATHI PAUL
  2. Swabby Ship Shanty, Samantha Pearson
  3. In Praise of Nobility (Sixteen), Rubaba Mmahajia Rahma Sabtiu
  4. In Praise of Nobility (Fifteen), Rubaba Mmahajia Rahma Sabtiu
  5. Hope, Olugbuyi Stephen Gbolly
  6. I trace you on the coffee table, Mandolyn Davidson
  7. On Line Poet's Friendship, Om Chawla
  8. गोरबोनि सानस्रि, Ronjoy Brahma
  9. Symphony Of The Sea, Saiom Shriver
  10. Prime Truth - 30, Pranab K. Chakraborty

Poem of the Day

poet Algernon Charles Swinburne

I hid my heart in a nest of roses,
Out of the sun's way, hidden apart;
In a softer bed than the soft white snow's is,
Under the roses I hid my heart.
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]