Evening News II

By David Ferry b. 1924 David Ferry
The face looking into the room;
Behind it light, shaking, like heat   
Lightning; the face calm and knowing;   
Seeing, but not seeing who I am;
The mouth may be telling something.

Something about our helplessness;   
Something about the confusions of beasts;   
The consequence of error; systems   
Haywire, or working; the stars gone   
All wrong in the body’s courses.

Out on the plain of Mars, brilliantly   
Played under the lights, searched out   
Beyond any answer, the game went on   
Far into the night; the bloodiest came   
Home from the battle seeking the prize.

The women were disgraced; hair streaming,   
Pleading into the staring: buy, buy—;   
Was it my daughter I was seeing?—
The humiliation was pleasing: tears,   
Laughter, smiles, all mingled together.

The light swallowed itself, a balloon   
Deflating; somewhere in the darkness   
A murmuring let itself go.

David Ferry, “Evening News II” from Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1999). Copyright © 1999 by David Ferry. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Source: Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations (The University of Chicago Press, 1999)

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Poet David Ferry b. 1924

Subjects Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

 David  Ferry


David Ferry is an acclaimed American poet and translator. Ferry’s translations, which include some of the world's major works of poetry including The Odes of Horace, and both The Eclogues and Georgics of Virgil, are known for their fluency and grace. In addition to his lauded translations, Ferry is also a prize-winning poet in his own right. His poetic works include Dwelling Places (1993) and Of No Country I Know: New and . . .

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SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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