From The Tower Poem by Heather McHugh

From The Tower



Insanity is not a want of reason.
It is reason’s overgrowth, a calculating kudzu.

Explaining why, in two-ton manifesti, thinkers sally forth
with testaments and pipe bombs. Heaven help us:

spare us all your meaningful designs. Shine down or
shower forth, but (for the earthling’s sake) ignore
all prayers followed by against, or for. Teach us to bear

life’s senselessness, our insignificance, and more;
let’s call that sanity. The terrifying prospect isn’t some
escapist with old-fangled novels, fond of comfort, munching sweets—

it is the busy hermeneut, so serious
he’s sour, intent on making
meaning of us all, and bursting
from the tower to the street.

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Heather McHugh

San Diego, California
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