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APRIL IS POETRY MONTH: 'Correspondences': Poet, Artist Join Forces in Unique Book
Come, it's time to set the table,
dusk is bruised with rain, the water is alive
under the wind, evening is
upon us. Outside, the animals make their
accommodation, the lake loses its reflection,
settles deeper. Set down the brush
on the saucer, leave off the book,
open, with its words against the pillow.
The washing of hands, the tea kettle,
the whisky, stocking feet
on the wooden floor. Help me carry
the chairs, never enough chairs,
through the narrow doorway, chairs
borrowed from the sewing table,
from the desk, from the work table -
paint-spattered and mended with wire.
Bring the piano bench. Find the perfect
symphony for parsing vegetables into broth.
No need for candles, we'll see each other well enough
in the dark. Draw close
your father's chair next to my father's,
and I'll fetch a book for the orphan's chair,
so she can reach the table.
And last, a chair for the mourner
who accompanies the body, so the soul is never,
not for a single moment, alone.
More on this poem and author:
- Learn more about CORRESPONDENCES by Anne Michaels and Bernice Eisenstein.
- Browse other titles by Anne Michaels.
- Visit our Tumblr to share this poem and peruse other poems, audio recordings, and broadsides in our Knopf Poem-a-Day series.
- Enter our Portray Your Love of Poetry Contest.
Excerpt from CORRESPONDENCES. Copyright (c)2013 by Anne Michaels; Artwork copyright (c) 2013 by Bernice Eisenstein. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and in Canada by McClelland & Stewart, a division of Random House Canada Limited, Toronto. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.