Goodnight

By David Ferry b. 1924 David Ferry
Lying in bed and waiting to find out
Whatever is going to happen: the window shade

Making its slightest sound as the night wind,   
Outside, in the night, breathes quietly on it;

It is parental hovering over the infantile;   
Something like that; it is like being a baby,

And over the sleep of the baby there is a father,
Or mother, breathing, hovering; the streetlight light

In the nighttime branches breathing quietly too;   
Altering; realtering; it is the body breathing;

The crib of knowing: something about what the day
Will bring; and something about what the night will hold,

Safely, at least for the rest of the night, I pray.

David Ferry, “Goodnight” 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

 David  Ferry

Biography

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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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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