A poem a day in April from Rutgers English PhD students and friends.

Friday, April 1, 2011

No. 1

I do think that Emerson is a crappy writer.

He almost didn’t graduate from college, I’ve read.

The only thing I appreciate in his essays:

His use of the trope of the horizon.

I can read him in some small sympathy only because

In any place I’ve lived

I’ve sought out a certain vantage point

To see the delineation of a far-off match of ground and sky

And sometimes woke at dawn to see the sun rise over it.

This would help me out, somehow, of a deep fog.

What makes the horizon cathartic,

I don’t know, or why we create

Situations to frame


In college, I would cry when the sun set in burning stripes and dusty sky

And feel a future promised by the yellow lemonade light of the morning sun.

I saw a dove (really) outside my window once,

In Massachusetts, after a long, dark and icy winter

Sleeping in the pale sunlight on the cement window ledge,

Silhouetted against the Holyoke Range just beginning to turn green

And I had a “catharsis,” some kind of structured bursting through

Of clarity. Maybe we have these, and seek out horizons,

Because there would be no point in looking

Unless at some point we saw what we were looking for,

And realized what we were looking at,

And how far away it is

Or, how close we’ve allowed it to come.


  1. two favorite parts:
    1. (really)
    2. "catharsis"

  2. I agree!! (really) was and is (really) delightful.