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

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 David  St. John

Biography

David St. John has been honored, over the course of his career, with many of the most significant prizes for poets, including both the Rome Fellowship and the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the O.B. Hardison Prize for teaching and poetic achievement from the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the George Drury Smith Lifetime Achievement Award from Beyond Baroque. He is the author of . . .

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POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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