A Sleepless Night Poem by Philip Levine

A Sleepless Night

Rating: 2.9

April, and the last of the plum blossoms
scatters on the black grass
before dawn. The sycamore, the lime,
the struck pine inhale
the first pale hints of sky.
An iron day,
I think, yet it will come
dazzling, the light
rise from the belly of leaves and pour
burning from the cups
of poppies.
The mockingbird squawks
from his perch, fidgets,
and settles back. The snail, awake
for good, trembles from his shell
and sets sail for China. My hand dances
in the memory of a million vanished stars.

A man has every place to lay his head.

G. Murdock 06 December 2005

good overall, not in a particular way...not a line which is exceptional. More like a fine car is made of many ordinary parts.

2 3 Reply
Subhas Chandra Chakra 10 September 2017

My hand dances in the memory of a million vanished stars. Beautiful poem.10

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Mohit Katyal 12 July 2017

liked the title..and poem was also pretty good

1 0 Reply
Smoky Hoss 16 February 2015

A Sleepless Night seems as a metaphor for the long night of winter, itself a metaphor for the darkness of life; spring has finally come, it's good to be alive, and because man is alive he can lay his head anywhere, but of course this freedom of living came at a price: a million vanished stars, now only a memory.

4 1 Reply
Portia Burton 20 October 2013

wonderful poem! -Portia

3 0 Reply
Robbert Veen 26 June 2010

I agree with G. Murdock. Yet, there is something quite intriguing about the last line. It does bring to mind the NT quote: The Son of Man has no place to rest his head. Does that change the meaning?

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Philip Levine

Philip Levine

Detroit, Michigan
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