Treasure Island

William Matthews

(November 11, 1942 - November 12, 1997 / Cincinnati, Ohio)

A Poetry Reading At West Point


I read to the entire plebe class,
in two batches. Twice the hall filled
with bodies dressed alike, each toting
a copy of my book. What would my
shrink say, if I had one, about
such a dream, if it were a dream?

Question and answer time.
"Sir," a cadet yelled from the balcony,
and gave his name and rank, and then,
closing his parentheses, yelled
"Sir" again. "Why do your poems give
me a headache when I try

to understand them?" he asked. "Do
you want that?" I have a gift for
gentle jokes to defuse tension,
but this was not the time to use it.
"I try to write as well as I can
what it feels like to be human,"

I started, picking my way care-
fully, for he and I were, after
all, pained by the same dumb longings.
"I try to say what I don't know
how to say, but of course I can't
get much of it down at all."

By now I was sweating bullets.
"I don't want my poems to be hard,
unless the truth is, if there is
a truth." Silence hung in the hall
like a heavy fabric. My own
head ached. "Sir," he yelled. "Thank you. Sir."


Anonymous submission.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: truth, dream, silence, poetry, time, thanks, poem

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 (A Poetry Reading At West Point by William Matthews )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Come! Let's make it happen, Asma Riaz Khan
  2. O Beija-flor, Von Kimball Barney
  3. A Sincere Apology, Tirupathi Chandrupatla
  4. Leaves in Colors, Tirupathi Chandrupatla
  5. Never Give Up, Lilly Emery
  6. sterilization process of our modern system, Anthony Cavuoti
  7. Kopje onder, Madrason writer
  8. five past three, Pradip Chattopadhyay
  9. Trapdoor, Pradip Chattopadhyay
  10. Gans Veer, Madrason writer

Poem of the Day

poet Sir Walter Raleigh

EVEN such is Time, that takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with earth and dust;
   Who in the dark and silent grave,
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  4. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  5. If, Rudyard Kipling
  6. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  8. The Conclusion, Sir Walter Raleigh
  9. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]