Duane Niatum


Duane Niatum Poems

Best Poem of Duane Niatum

Consulting an Elder Poet on an Anti-War Poem

for Elizabeth Bishop


You said to me that day,
"There's nothing you can do,"
and spoke of Auden's line:
"Poetry makes nothing happen."
And though I honor you,
especially your poems,
the objects you dipped in light,
then, left in the rainbow,
let slip from our sight,
I admitted, diving out of self,
a sweet woman's white caress,
the hundreds of lives and places
in books, failed to counter confusion.

You did agree that it
was Socrates who said
to his Athenian friends
that governments are only
governments with ...

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