Friday, January 09, 2009

How Many Nights by Galway Kinnell

Happy New Year from Poem of the Week! I set the blog on auto update while I was on vacation and it failed me (sigh). But we'll be back on schedule now. To start the year, here's "How Many Nights" by Galway Kinnell, who I think writes about nature as well as any living poet.

How Many Nights

How many nights
hive I lain in terror,
O Creator Spirit, Maker of night and day,

only to walk out
the next morning over the frozen world
hearing under the creaking of snow
faint, peaceful breaths . . .
snake,

bear, earthworm, ant . . .
and above me a wild crow crying 'yaw yaw yaw'
from a branch nothing cried from ever in my life.



If you want to read another, take a look at Saint Francis and the Sow.

Galway Kinnell was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1927. He has won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He was a professor of Creative Writing at NYU, but is now retired and at his home in Vermont.

21 Comments:

Blogger John Hayes said...

"Le Havre," the French port city on the mouth of the Seine rhymes with Favre. Probably not much else.

Good to see the poems posting again.
JH

7:12 PM  
Blogger Pink Chocolate said...

Thank you for this beautiful poem. A great start to the day indeed.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

My favorite living poet. Also try "Flower Herding on Mt. Monadonock" and "Fergus Falling", both observations of the unquiet relationship we yankees have with our natural world.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Frank said...

I've been a fan for many years; he's written some of the best erotic poetry I know of. And as a friend put it "has just about the coolest name ever invented for a poet."

Thanks for this one.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous AChick said...

Favre - lather

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Blogger abby said...

Favre rhymes with starve... he misses Wisconsin cheese I'm sure.

I thank my mom for the excellent rhyme.

8:01 PM  
Blogger ginger said...

silly auto updates. happy new year!

11:48 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Give Parve a try - it means Kosher.

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Blogger Glenn said...

Galway is one of my favorite poets, it is fun to see one of his poems posted here! thanks so much.

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