LeontesElusive, but only sweetened byDisuse, souls I’d entered once beforeOnce again trouble the surfaces of lifeWith their small noises and single color…Picture the dream before the last dreamOf a troubled night—something like that.There were no survivors. Afterwards,I meet them in weak sunlight in a cornerOf urban parkland. Not far away,There seem to be children emergingFrom the waters of an ornamental lake.Swan boats lead them off to the horizon.We are so happy. The sunlight grows weaker.Reunion shakes the world. Let us speak of it.RaptureTime might be anything, even the leastPortion of shadow in the blaze, that helplessHare of darkness in the hawk’s world.I’d forgotten, in the haste of me, to reachBackwards into time one hand. Come along.I’ve seen a rainbow where no rain ever was.The colors were slain children of the windAlive again because time might be anything,And earth a broken astrolabePlunged into blackness by force of sunlightThese latter days. There is a flowerIn the hawk’s mouth once was an animal.It hurries towards the sun, and the hawk,Helpless in the color of it, becomes rain.
Copyright © 2018 by Donald Revell
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission
Donald Revell is the author of fourteen previous collections of poetry, including most recently Drought-Adapted Vine (Alice James Books, 2015). His other books include six volumes of translation from the French and three works of critical prose. Among his honors are the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Prize and three PEN USA Awards in poetry and translation. Revell is currently a Professor of English at UNLV and faculty affiliate of the Black Mountain Institute. (Author photo by Dona Shatford Peters)
“Thoroughly integrating sacred and secular, Revell produces a book of love and rapture.”
“Quiet, piercing lyrics, meditative and trenchant, unadorned, confident in their ability to transport, traverse time and space, The English Boat finds Revell at the height of his powers. God, Jesus, and Mary are as close as friends and neighbors. In the ever-shifting complexity of faith, Revell’s voice finds calm and righteous anger here, and forgiveness, via negativa, moving us to newness of day in the most troubled of times.”