Stupid Meditation on Peace

By Robert Pinsky b. 1940 Robert Pinsky

“He does not come to coo.”
                    —Gerard Manley Hopkins


Insomniac monkey-mind ponders the Dove,
Symbol not only of Peace but sexual
Love, the couple nestled and brooding.

After coupling, the human animal needs
The woman safe for nine months and more.
But the man after his turbulent minute or two

Is expendable. Usefully rash, reckless
For defense, in his void of redundancy
Willing to death and destruction.

Monkey-mind envies the male Dove
Who equally with the female secretes
Pigeon milk for the young from his throat.

For peace, send all human males between
Fourteen and twenty-five to school
On the Moon, or better yet Mars.

But women too are capable of Unpeace,
Yes, and we older men too, venom-throats.
Here’s a great comic who says on our journey

We choose one of two tributaries: the River
Of Peace, or the River of Productivity.
The current of Art he says runs not between

Banks with birdsong in the fragrant shadows—
No, an artist must follow the stinks and rapids
Of the branch that drives the millstones and dynamos.

Is peace merely a vacuum, the negative
Of creation, or the absence of war?
The teaching says Peace is a positive energy.

Still something in me resists that sweet milk,
My mind resembles my restless, inferior cousin
Who fires his shit in handfuls from his cage.

Robert Pinsky, "Stupid Meditation on Peace" from Gulf Music. Copyright © 2007 by Robert Pinsky. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC, www.fsgbooks.com. All rights reserved.

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Source: Gulf Music (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2007)

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Poet Robert Pinsky b. 1940

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict, Gender & Sexuality, Living, The Mind

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Imagery, Metaphor

 Robert  Pinsky

Biography

Robert Pinsky is one of America’s foremost poet-critics. Often called the last of the “civic” or public poets, Pinsky’s criticism and verse reflect his concern for a contemporary poetic diction that nonetheless speaks of a wider experience. Elected Poet Laureate of the United States in 1997, his tenure was marked by ambitious efforts to prove the power of poetry—not just as an intellectual pursuit in the ivory tower, but as a . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict, Gender & Sexuality, Living, The Mind

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Imagery, Metaphor

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