Edward Hirsch

(20 January 1950 / Chicago)

To Poetry


Don’t desert me
just because I stayed up last night
watching The Lost Weekend.

I know I’ve spent too much time
praising your naked body to strangers
and gossiping about lovers you betrayed.

I’ve stalked you in foreign cities
and followed your far-flung movements,
pretending I could describe you.

Forgive me for getting jacked on coffee
and obsessing over your features
year after jittery year.

I’m sorry for handing you a line
and typing you on a screen,
but don’t let me suffer in silence.

Does anyone still invoke the Muse,
string a wooden lyre for Apollo,
or try to saddle up Pegasus?

Winged horse, heavenly god or goddess,
indifferent entity, secret code, stored magic,
pleasance and half wonder, hell,

I have loved you my entire life
without even knowing what you are
or how—please help me—to find you.

Submitted: Friday, January 20, 2012

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