James Tate

(8 December 1943 - / Kansas City, Missouri)

Happy As The Day Is Long - Poem by James Tate

I take the long walk up the staircase to my secret room.
Today's big news: they found Amelia Earhart's shoe, size 9.
1992: Charlie Christian is bebopping at Minton's in 1941.
Today, the Presidential primaries have failed us once again.
We'll look for our excitement elsewhere, in the last snow
that is falling, in tomorrow's Gospel Concert in Springfield.
It's a good day to be a cat and just sleep.
Or to read the Confessions of Saint Augustine.
Jesus called the sons of Zebedee the Sons of Thunder.
In my secret room, plans are hatched: we'll explore the Smoky Mountains.
Then we'll walk along a beach: Hallelujah!
(A letter was just delivered by Overnight Express--
it contained nothing of importance, I slept through it.)
(I guess I'm trying to be "above the fray.")
The Russians, I know, have developed a language called "Lincos"
designed for communicating with the inhabitants of other worlds.
That's been a waste of time, not even a postcard.
But then again, there are tree-climbing fish, called anabases.
They climb the trees out of stupidity, or so it is said.
Who am I to judge? I want to break out of here.
A bee is not strong in geometry: it cannot tell
a square from a triangle or a circle.
The locker room of my skull is full of panting egrets.
I'm saying that strictly for effect.
In time I will heal, I know this, or I believe this.
The contents and furnishings of my secret room will be labeled
and organized so thoroughly it will be a little frightening.
What I thought was infinite will turn out to be just a couple
of odds and ends, a tiny miscellany, miniature stuff, fragments
of novelties, of no great moment. But it will also be enough,
maybe even more than enough, to suggest an immense ritual and tradition.
And this makes me very happy.


Comments about Happy As The Day Is Long by James Tate

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra (6/24/2017 4:49:00 PM)


    What I thought was infinite will turn out to be just a couple
    of odds and ends, a tiny miscellany, miniature stuff, fragments
    of novelties, of no great moment.

    Beautiful poem. Thanks for the sharing.10 for it.
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Kumarmani Mahakul (6/24/2017 11:02:00 AM)


    Way of penning is interesting. Beautifully painted. Thanks for sharing and congratulation for the poem of the day. (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (6/24/2017 8:01:00 AM)


    Interesting poem. Feel very nice while reading. Wordplay is simply amazing.10+++ (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (6/24/2017 4:22:00 AM)


    An imaginative poem. However, not of great importance. (Report) Reply

    Lantz Pierre Lantz Pierre (6/24/2017 6:13:00 AM)

    Are you being facetious?

  • Edward Kofi Louis (6/24/2017 2:28:00 AM)


    The long walk! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Sriram Chintalacheruvu (11/21/2015 9:07:00 AM)


    i felt very happy by reading this poem (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh Rai (5/24/2015 5:23:00 AM)


    An expressive write. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

Read all 8 comments »



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Read poems about / on: today, beach, cat, fish, happy, believe, snow, tree, sleep, son, fishing



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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