To You

By Kenneth Koch 1925–2002 Kenneth Koch
I love you as a sheriff searches for a walnut
That will solve a murder case unsolved for years
Because the murderer left it in the snow beside a window
Through which he saw her head, connecting with
Her shoulders by a neck, and laid a red
Roof in her heart. For this we live a thousand years;
For this we love, and we live because we love, we are not
Inside a bottle, thank goodness! I love you as a
Kid searches for a goat; I am crazier than shirttails
In the wind, when you’re near, a wind that blows from
The big blue sea, so shiny so deep and so unlike us;
I think I am bicycling across an Africa of green and white fields
Always, to be near you, even in my heart
When I’m awake, which swims, and also I believe that you
Are trustworthy as the sidewalk which leads me to
The place where I again think of you, a new
Harmony of thoughts! I love you as the sunlight leads the prow
Of a ship which sails
From Hartford to Miami, and I love you
Best at dawn, when even before I am awake the sun
Receives me in the questions which you always pose.

Kenneth Koch, “To You” from The Collected Poems of Kenneth Koch, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Copyright © 2006 by Kenneth Koch. Reprinted by permission of the Kenneth Koch Literary Estate.

Source: The Collected Poems of Kenneth Koch (Alfred A. Knopf, 2006)

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Poet Kenneth Koch 1925–2002

SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School

Subjects Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes

Occasions Weddings

Holidays Valentine's Day

 Kenneth  Koch

Biography

Prize-winning author Kenneth Koch published numerous collections of poetry, avant-garde plays, and short fiction while also serving as one of the nation's best-known creative writing teachers during a career that spanned over five decades. Associated with the New York School of poetry for most of his career, Koch used surrealism, satire, irony, and an element of surprise in many of his poems. However, "his satires are more than . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes

SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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