Kenneth Koch

(27 February 1925 – 6 July 2002 / Ohio / United States)

Poem For My Twentieth Birthday Poem by Kenneth Koch


Passing the American graveyard, for my birthday
the crosses stuttering, white on tropical green,
the years’ quick focus of faces I do not remember . . .


The palm trees stalking like deliberate giants
for my birthday, and all the hot adolescent memories
seen through a screen of water . . .


For my birthday thrust into the adult and actual:
expected to perform the action, not to ponder
the reality beyond the fact,
the man standing upright in the dream.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Edited: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

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