an American poet, essayist, literary critic, and translator. From 1997 to 2000, he served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Pinsky is the author of nineteen books, most of which are collections of his own poetry. His published work also includes critically acclaimed translations, including a collection of poems by Czesław Miłosz and Dante Alighieri. He teaches at Boston University and is the poetry editor at Slate.
Robert Pinsky was born on October 20, 1940, in Long Branch, New Jersey, where he attended Long Branch High School. He received a B.A. from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and earned both an M.A. and Ph.D. in ... more »
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Robert Pinsky Poems
Impossible To Tell
Slow dulcimer, gavotte and bow, in autumn, Bashõ and his friends go out to view the moon; In summer, gasoline rainbow in the gutter,
Not a "window on the world" But as we call you, A box a tube
The back, the yoke, the yardage. Lapped seams, The nearly invisible stitches along the collar Turned in a sweatshop by Koreans or Malaysians
At Pleasure Bay
In the willows along the river at Pleasure Bay A catbird singing, never the same phrase twice. Here under the pines a little off the road In 1927 the Chief of Police
Ode To Meaning
Dire one and desired one, Savior, sentencer-- In an old allegory you would carry
The Night Game
Some of us believe We would have conceived romantic Love out of our own passions With no precedents,
". . . our language, forged in the dark bycenturies of violent pressure, underground,out of the stuff of dead life." Thirsty and languorous after their long black sleep
Poem With Refrains
The opening scene. The yellow, coal-fed fog Uncurling over the tainted city river, A young girl rowing and her anxious father Scavenging for corpses. Funeral meats. The clever
A monosyllabic European called Sax Invents a horn, walla whirledy wah, a kind of twisted Brazen clarinet, but with its column of vibrating Air shaped not in a cylinder but in a cone
When I had no roof I made Audacity my roof. When I had No supper my eyes dined.
Felicity the healer isn’t young And you don’t look him up unless you need him. Clown’s eyes, Pope’s nose, a mouth for dirty stories, He made his bundle in the Great Depression
The legendary muscle that wants and grieves, The organ of attachment, the pump of thrills And troubles, clinging in stubborn colonies
Essay on Psychiatrists
It‘s crazy to think one could describe them— Calling on reason, fantasy, memory, eves and ears— As though they were all alike any more
First Things to Hand
In the skull kept on the desk. In the spider-pod in the dust.
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
Impossible To Tell
to Robert Hass and in memory of Elliot Gilbert
Slow dulcimer, gavotte and bow, in autumn,
Bashõ and his friends go out to view the moon;
In summer, gasoline rainbow in the gutter,
The secret courtesy that courses like ichor
Through the old form of the rude, full-scale joke,
Impossible to tell in writing. 'Bashõ'
He named himself, 'Banana Tree': banana
After the plant some grateful students gave him,
Maybe in appreciation of his guidance
Threading a long night through the rules and channels
Of their collaborative linking-poem
Scored in ...