Poem by the Charles River

By Robin Blaser 1925–2009 Robin Blaser
It is their way to find the surface
when they die.
                      Fish feed on fish
and drop those beautiful bones
                                              to swim.
I see them stretch the water to their need
as I domesticate the separate air to be my
breath.
            These fish die easily.

I find my surface in the way they feed.
Their gathering hunger is a flash like death.
No agony
               as if
                      my mind had eaten death.

Robin Blaser, “Poem by the Charles River” from The Holy Forest: Collected Poems of Robin Blaser. Copyright © 2006 by Robin Blaser.  Reprinted by permission of University of California Press.

Source: The Holy Forest: Collected Poems of Robin Blaser (University of California Press, 2006)

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

Poet Robin Blaser 1925–2009

POET’S REGION Canada

Subjects Living, Death, Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Animals, The Body

 Robin  Blaser

Biography

Born in Denver and raised in Twin Falls, Idaho, poet, editor, and essayist Robin Blaser was educated at the University of California-Berkeley. With poets Robert Duncan and Jack Spicer, he helped spark the Berkeley Poetry Renaissance in the 1940s that preceded the San Francisco poetry renaissance of the 1950s and 1960s. In 1965, Blaser met Robert Creeley and Charles Olson, with whom he later worked closely. Miriam Nichols, editor . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Animals, The Body

POET’S REGION Canada

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.