Insomnia Poem by Dana Gioia


Rating: 3.1

Now you hear what the house has to say.
Pipes clanking, water running in the dark,
the mortgaged walls shifting in discomfort,
and voices mounting in an endless drone
of small complaints like the sounds of a family
that year by year you've learned how to ignore.

But now you must listen to the things you own,
all that you've worked for these past years,
the murmur of property, of things in disrepair,
the moving parts about to come undone,
and twisting in the sheets remember all
the faces you could not bring yourself to love.

How many voices have escaped you until now,
the venting furnace, the floorboards underfoot,
the steady accusations of the clock
numbering the minutes no one will mark.
The terrible clarity this moment brings,
the useless insight, the unbroken dark.

Tom J. Mariani 24 October 2007

Having read Gioia's book 'Can Poetry Matter' and through his workshops while he taught at Sonoma State near where I live in California, I don't think this poem is just about houshold deferred maintenance. What keeps one awake at night; neglect, regrets, voices that have escaped you until now? Got me thinking; as most of his poems do.

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Brian Jani 22 May 2014

Dana giola I love this piece if brilliant poetry

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Kenneth Maswabi 13 July 2016

I'm happy after reading this marvelous piece of poetry. We human beings are the same in body, mind/ thought and spirit. I love humanity. Thanks for sharing.

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Michael Walker 26 August 2019

Original images, right from' now you hear what the house has to say' to 'the steady accusations of the clock', to a man who can't get to sleep. I can identify with that, not so much now.

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Plabita Bhaskar 30 March 2017

A dark mysterious night, from the sight of an insomniac. Lucidly mentioning every bit of sound, when the world is fast asleep and even your heartbeats can be heard aloud. Thanks for sharing. Lovely poem

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M Asim Nehal 13 July 2016

Only Mr.Kelly can throw more light on this.....10

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Joel Aboderin 13 July 2016

Perfectly depicted. thanks

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Edward Kofi Louis 13 July 2016

To the things you own! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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Dana Gioia

Dana Gioia

Hawthorne, California
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