Look to the Future

By Ruth Stone 1915–2011 Ruth Stone
To you born into violence,
the wars of the red ant are nothing;
you, in the heart of the eruption.

I am speaking from immeasurable grass blades.
You, there on the rubble,
what is the river of vapor to you?

You who are helpless as small birds
downed on the ice pack.
You who are spoiled as
commercial fruit by the medfly.

To you the machine guns.
To you the semen of fire,
the birth of the maggot in the corpse.

You, to whom we send these gifts;
at the heart of light we are crushed together.
When the sun dies we will become one.

Ruth Stone, “Look to the Future” from Simplicity. Copyright © 1995 by Ruth Stone. Reprinted with the permission of Paris Press, Inc.

Source: Simplicity (1995)

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Poet Ruth Stone 1915–2011

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Time & Brevity, War & Conflict, Living, Disappointment & Failure, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Ruth  Stone

Biography

Poet Ruth Stone was born in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1915 and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She lived in a rural farmhouse in Vermont for much of her life and received widespread recognition relatively late with the publication of Ordinary Words (1999). The book won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was soon followed by other award-winning collections, including In the Next Galaxy (2002), winner . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Time & Brevity, War & Conflict, Living, Disappointment & Failure, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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