The Harp

By Bruce Weigl b. 1949 Bruce Weigl
When he was my age and I was already a boy   
my father made a machine in the garage.   
A wired piece of steel
with many small and beautiful welds
ground so smooth they resembled rows of pearls.

He went broke with whatever it was.   
He held it so carefully in his arms.   
He carried it foundry to foundry.   
I think it was his harp,
I think it was what he longed to make   
with his hands for the world.

He moved it finally from the locked closet   
to the bedroom
to the garage again
where he hung it on the wall
until I climbed and pulled it down
and rubbed it clean
and tried to make it work.

Bruce Weigl, “The Harp” from Archaeology of the Circle: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1999 by Bruce Weigl. Reprinted with the permission of Grove/Atlantic, Inc., www.groveatlantic.com.

Source: Archeology of the Circle: New and Selected Poems (Grove/Atlantic Inc., 1999)

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Poet Bruce Weigl b. 1949

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Family & Ancestors, Youth, Living, Relationships

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Soon after turning eighteen, Bruce Weigl enlisted in the Army and served in Vietnam for one year, beginning in December 1967. He was awarded the Bronze Star and returned to his hometown of Lorain, Ohio, where he enrolled in Lorain County Community College. As Weigl states in his best-selling prose memoir, The Circle of Hanh (2000), “The paradox of my life as a writer is that the war ruined my life and in return gave me my . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Family & Ancestors, Youth, Living, Relationships

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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