A Diamond

By Jack Spicer 1925–1965 Jack Spicer

A Translation for Robert Jones

A diamond
Is there
At the heart of the moon or the branches or my nakedness
And there is nothing in the universe like diamond
Nothing in the whole mind.

The poem is a seagull resting on a pier at the end of the ocean.

A dog howls at the moon
A dog howls at the branches
A dog howls at the nakedness
A dog howling with pure mind.

I ask for the poem to be as pure as a seagull’s belly.

The universe falls apart and discloses a diamond
Two words called seagull are peacefully floating out where the
       waves are.
The dog is dead there with the moon, with the branches, with
       my nakedness
And there is nothing in the universe like diamond
Nothing in the whole mind.

Jack Spicer,“A Diamond” from My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poems of Jack Spicer (Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2008). Used by permission of Peter Gizzi for The Estate of Jack Spicer.

Source: My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poems of Jack Spicer (Wesleyan University Press, 2008)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Jack Spicer 1925–1965

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

 Jack  Spicer

Biography

Although known primarily among a coterie of poets in the San Francisco Bay Area at the time of his death in 1965, Jack Spicer has slowly become a towering figure in American poetry. He was born in Los Angeles in 1925 to midwestern parents and raised in a Calvinist home. While attending college at the University of California-Berkeley, Spicer met fellow poets Robin Blaser and Robert Duncan. The friendship among these three poets . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.