Sonnet

By Robert Hass b. 1941 Robert Hass
A man talking to his ex-wife on the phone.
He has loved her voice and listens with attention
to every modulation of its tone. Knowing   
it intimately. Not knowing what he wants
from the sound of it, from the tendered civility.
He studies, out the window, the seed shapes
of the broken pods of ornamental trees.
The kind that grow in everyone’s garden, that no one
but horticulturists can name. Four arched chambers
of pale green, tiny vegetal proscenium arches,
a pair of black tapering seeds bedded in each chamber.
A wish geometry, miniature, Indian or Persian,   
lovers or gods in their apartments. Outside, white,
patient animals, and tangled vines, and rain.

“Sonnet” from Sun Under Wood: New Poems by Robert Hass. Copyright © 1996 by Robert Hass. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, www.harpercollins.com.

Source: Sun Under Wood (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1996)

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Poet Robert Hass b. 1941

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Nature, Relationships, Living, Trees & Flowers, Love, Separation & Divorce, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Imagery, Free Verse

 Robert  Hass

Biography

Robert Hass is one of contemporary American poetry’s most celebrated and widely-read voices. In addition to his success as a poet, Hass is also recognized as a leading critic and translator, notably of the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz and Japanese haiku masters Bashō, Buson, and Issa. Critics celebrate Hass’s own poetry for its clarity of expression, its conciseness, and its imagery, often drawn from everyday life. “Hass has . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Relationships, Living, Trees & Flowers, Love, Separation & Divorce, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Imagery, Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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