At Sunset

By Jason Shinder 1955–2008 Jason Shinder
Your death must be loved this much.
You have to know the grief—now.
Standing by the water’s edge,
looking down at the wave
touching you. You have to lie,
stiff, arms folded, on a heap of earth
and see how far the darkness
will take you. I mean it, this, now—
before the ghost the cold leaves
in your breath, rises;
before the toes are put together
inside the shoes. There it is—the goddamn
orange-going-into-rose descending
circle of beauty and time.
You have nothing to be sad about.

Jason Shinder, “At Sunset” from Stupid Hope. Copyright © 2009 by Jason Shinder. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press,

Source: Stupid Hope (Graywolf Press, 2009)

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

Poet Jason Shinder 1955–2008

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, Death, Sorrow & Grieving

Poetic Terms Free Verse


Born in Brooklyn, poet and editor Jason Shinder grew up there and in Merrick, New York. He earned a BA at Skidmore College.
Shinder is the author of three collections of poetry: the posthumously published Stupid Hope (2009), Among Women (2001), and Every Room We Ever Slept In (1993), a New York Public Library Notable Book. In a review of Among Women, poet Carol Muske-Dukes observed, “I don’t know of any male poet that . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Sorrow & Grieving

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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.