Galway Kinnell

(1 February 1927 / Providence, Rhode Island)

Another Night in Ruins


1
In the evening
haze darkening on the hills,
purple of the eternal,
a last bird crosses over,
‘flop flop,' adoring
only the instant.

2
Nine years ago,
in a plane that rumbled all night
above the Atlantic,
I could see, lit up
by lightning bolts jumping out of it,
a thunderhead formed like the face
of my brother, looking down
on blue,
lightning-flashed moments of the Atlantic.

3
He used to tell me,
"What good is the day?
On some hill of despair
the bonfire
you kindle can light the great sky—
though it's true, of course, to make it burn
you have to throw yourself in ..."

4
Wind tears itself hollow
in the eaves of these ruins, ghost-flute
of snowdrifts
that build out there in the dark:
upside-down ravines
into which night sweeps
our cast wings, our ink-spattered feathers.

5
I listen.
I hear nothing. Only
the cow, the cow of such
hollowness, mooing
down the bones.

6
Is that a
rooster? He
thrashes in the snow
for a grain. Finds
it. Rips
it into
flames. Flaps. Crows.
Flames
bursting out of his brow.

7
How many nights must it take
one such as me to learn
that we aren't, after all, made
from that bird that flies out of its ashes,
that for us
as we go up in flames, our one work
is
to open ourselves, to be
the flames?

Submitted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012

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

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 (Another Night in Ruins by Galway Kinnell )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

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. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Men who see no day, Zimba Sundrogo
  2. Handsome and king, hasmukh amathalal
  3. Stoned by sadness, Nalini Chaturvedi
  4. The Goodness of a Life-mate (Section-6 .., rajendran muthiah
  5. Heart to, hasmukh amathalal
  6. An Ode to my Tree, Kelly Curiel
  7. foliage, snehanair manikkath
  8. Love Lures Life! - sonnet-, Manjeshwari P MYSORE
  9. Yamashita/Medina Standard, Richard Thripp
  10. drops of dew, binod bastola

Poem of the Day

poet Edmund Spenser

Of this worlds theatre in which we stay,
My love like the spectator ydly sits
Beholding me that all the pageants play,
Disguysing diversly my troubled wits.
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]