Final Lesson in First Philosophy

Dan Beachy-Quick

The sun brightens the clouds before it breaksthem apart. On the far side of the oceanthere are marble ruins of the brokentemples: the temple each cloud is. Ruinis faith's consequence—to house the forcethat tears the house apart. The sun isthe yellow shield buckled on to the throatof the sun-throated warbler—it sayswith no words song's unspeakable fact.Silence is faith's consequence—a world ofknowing that knowing is a world of not.The book called The Sun held a fact one could lovebut have no faith in. Close the book. Think,thinker, in the dark. Moon—quiet the lark.

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Dan Beachy-Quick is a poet, essayist, and translator. His work has been long-listed for the National Book Award in Poetry, and supported by the Monfort, Lannan, and Guggenheim Foundations. He teaches at Colorado State University where he is a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar.


Geneva, New York

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

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Geoffrey Babbitt

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Seneca Review, founded in 1970 by James Crenner and Ira Sadoff, is published twice yearly, spring and fall, by Hobart and William Smith Colleges Press.

Distributed internationally, the magazine’s emphasis is poetry, and the editors have a special interest in translations of contemporary poetry from around the world. Publisher of numerous laureates and award-winning poets, including Seamus Heaney, Rita Dove, Jorie Graham, Yusef Komunyakaa, Lisel Mueller, Wislawa Szymborska, Charles Simic, W.S. Merwin, and Eavan Boland, Seneca Review also consistently publishes emerging writers and is always open to new, innovative work.

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