Meditation

By David St. John b. 1949 David St. John

after Baudelaire

Quiet now, sorrow; relax. Calm down, fear ...
You wanted the night? It’s falling, here,   
Like a black glove onto the city,
Giving a few some peace ... but not me.

I think, well, almost everyone I know
Loves to be whipped by pleasure—right, Killer?—   
As they stroll the boardwalk, parading their despair.   
So why don’t you come too? But instead, with me,

Away from all these tattered ghosts leaning off   
The sky’s balcony like last year’s lovers;
We’ll watch everything we regret step from the sea

Dripping ... while the dead sun drags its arc   
Towards China. Shroud of my heart, listen. Listen—   
How softly the night steps toward us.

David St. John, “Meditation” from Study for the World’s Body: Selected Poems (New York: HarperCollins, 1994). Copyright © 1994, 2005 by David St. John. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Source: Study for the World's Body: New and Selected Poems (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1994)

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Poet David St. John b. 1949

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

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 David  St. John

Biography

David St. John was born in Fresno, California. He received his bachelor’s degree at California State in Fresno and went to the University of Iowa for an M.F.A. His works of poetry include Hush (1976), Terraces of Rain (1991) and The Red Leaves of Night (1999). Most recently he wrote The Face: A Novella in Verse (2004). He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award, . . .

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POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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