Night Thoughts

By Carl Rakosi 1903–2004 Carl Rakosi
After the jostling on canal streets
and the orchids blowing in the window   
I work in cut glass and majolica
and hear the plectrum of the angels.

My thoughts keep dwelling on the littoral   
where china clocks tick in the cold shells   
and the weeds slide in the equinox.

The night is cold for love,   
a chamber for the chorus
and the antistrophe of the sealight.

Carl Rakosi, “Night Thoughts” from The Collected Poems of Carl Rakosi (Orono: The National Poetry Foundation, 1986). Used with the permission of Marilyn J. Kane.

Source: The Collected Poems of Carl Rakosi (National Poetry Foundation, 1986)

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Poet Carl Rakosi 1903–2004

SCHOOL / PERIOD Objectivist

Subjects Living, The Mind

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Carl  Rakosi


The son of German Jewish parents, Carl Rakosi was born in Berlin in 1903, moving soon to Hungary following his parents’ separation in 1904. Immigrating with his father and stepmother to Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 1910, he eventually graduated from the University of Wisconsin (where he edited the literary magazine) and later earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania. Rakosi’s involvement in the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Mind

SCHOOL / PERIOD Objectivist

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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