Dan Chiasson

Dan Chiasson Poems

Snow up to our waists and coming down still.
There was a field here once, when we began.

Everything scatters as the night wears on:
but you, don't scatter, will you?

How to explain my heroic courtesy? I feel
that my body was inflated by a mischievous boy.


It is impossible for me to remember
the cozy room I slept in as a child.

A minute ago I was a child coughing: having had
too much of everything today, except for air.

Reality isn't one point in space.
It isn't one moment in time—


Whitman wrote this, before he started writing poetry.
He was a journalist for years, you know;

I lack the rigor of a lightning bolt,
the weight of an anchor. I am

The tendons flattened and the knot untied.
You could do anything, then, with your hand;


Find some other reason to sway, forest;
old people get bent over


All day I waited to be blown;
then someone cut me down.

Dan Chiasson Biography

Dan Chiasson (born 1971, in Burlington, Vermont) is an American poet and critic. His name is pronounced "chase-in." He graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College (1993), and Harvard University, with a Ph.D in English. He is currently an associate professor at Wellesley College. He lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He is the poetry critic for The New Yorker, as well as a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books. He is advisory editor of the Paris Review.His poems have been translated into German by Jan Wagner, the selected poems have been published as "Naturgeschichte" at luxbooks, a publishing house focused on American poetry in bilingual editions. He is on the editorial board of the literary magazine The Common, based at Amherst College. Honors and awards: 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship for poetry Pushcart Prize 2004 Whiting Writers' Award)

The Best Poem Of Dan Chiasson

Tackle Football

Snow up to our waists and coming down still.
There was a field here once, when we began.
We marked the end zones and set up the goals.
Now nobody can even move, much less tackle.
I am Ganymede fleeing on a temple frieze.
We stand around like lovesick Neanderthals.
We're Pompeian before Pompeii was hot.
We have the aspect of the classic dead
Or of stranded, shivering astronauts.
It was early in the era of the pause button:
We paused and paused the afternoons away
Indoors, blasting our ballistic erections
At the blurred bikinis of celebrities,
Then, splaying on the linoleum floor,
Awaited the apportioned pizza delivery.
Now, someone has paused us, or so it appears,
But they didn't pause the snow, or the hour:
As the one gets higher, the other gets later.

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