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.

Philip Levine

(January 10, 1928 / Detroit, Michigan)

The Red Shirt


If I gave 5 birds
each 4 eyes
I would be blind
unto the 3rd
generation, if I
gave no one a word
for a day
and let the day
grow into a week
and the week sleep
until it was
half of my life
could I come home
to my father
one dark night?

On Sundays an odd light
grows on the bed
where I have lived
this half of my life
alight that begins
with the eyes
blinding first one
and then both
until at last
even the worn candles
in the flower box
lay down their heads.

Therefore I have come
to this red shirt
with its faultless row
of dark buttons, 7
by my count, as dark
as blood that poured
over my lips
when the first word
of hope jumped
and became a cry
of birds calling
for their wings,
a cry of new birds.

This is the red shirt
Adam gave to the Angel
of Death when he asked
for a son, this
is the flag Moses
waved 5 times
above his head
as he stumbled
down the waves
of the mountainous sea
bearing the Tables of 10,
this is the small cloth
mother put in
my lunch box
with bread and water.

This is my red shirt
in which I go to meet
you, Father of the Sea,
in which I will say
the poem I learned
from the mice. A row
of faultless buttons,
each one 10 years
and the eye of the bird
that beheld the first world
and the last, a field
of great rocks weeping,
and no one to see
me alone, day after
day, in my red shirt.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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

Read poems about / on: red, father, dark, poem, angel, sea, flower, son, mother, water, sleep, hope, home, alone, death, light, world, life, night

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 (The Red Shirt by Philip Levine )

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. 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

Poem of the Day

poet George Gordon Byron

I speak not, I trace not, I breathe not thy name;
There is grief in the sound, there is guilt in the fame;
But the tear that now burns on my cheek may impart
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]