I Close My Eyes

By David Ignatow 1914–1997 David Ignatow
I close my eyes like a good little boy at night in bed,   
as I was told to do by my mother when she lived,
and before bed I brush my teeth and slip on my pajamas,   
as I was told, and look forward to tomorrow.

I do all things required of me to make me a citizen of sterling worth.   
I keep a job and come home each evening for dinner. I arrive at the   
same time on the same train to give my family a sense of order.

I obey traffic signals. I am cordial to strangers, I answer my   
mail promptly. I keep a balanced checking account. Why can’t I   
live forever?

David Ignatow, “I Close My Eyes” from Against the Evidence: Selected Poems 1934-1994. Copyright © 1993 by David Ignatow. Reprinted with the permission of Wesleyan University Press.

Source: Against the Evidence: Selected Poems 1934-1994 (Wesleyan University Press, 1993)

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Poet David Ignatow 1914–1997

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Growing Old, Time & Brevity, Living

 David  Ignatow

Biography

David Ignatow is remembered as a poet who wrote popular verse about the common man and the issues encountered in daily life. In all, he wrote or edited more than twenty-five books and was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Poetry Society of America's Shelley Memorial Prize and Robert Frost Medal, the Bollingen Prize, and the John Steinbeck Award. Early in his career he worked in a butcher shop. He also helped out in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Growing Old, Time & Brevity, Living

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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