By Richard Garcia b. 1941 Richard Garcia
Both lying on our sides, making love in
spoon position when she’s startled, What’s that?
She means the enormous ship passing before you—
maybe not that large, is it a freighter
or a passenger ship? But it seems huge in the dark
and it’s so close. That’s a poem you say, D. H.
Lawrence—Have you built your ship of death,
have you? O build your ship of death,
for you will need it. Right here it would be good
if there were a small orchestra on board, you’d hear
them and say to her, That piece is called Autumn,
that’s what the brave musicians played as the Titanic
went under—and then you could name this poem “Autumn.”
But no, the ship is silent, its white lights glow in the darkness.

Richard Garcia, “Autumn” from The Persistence of Objects. Copyright © 2006 by Richard Garcia. Reprinted by permission of BOA Editions, Ltd.

Source: The Persistence of Objects (BOA Editions Ltd., 2006)

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

Poet Richard Garcia b. 1941


Subjects Nature, Fall, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Music, Love

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Richard  Garcia


Poet and writer Richard Garcia was born in San Francisco and started writing in his teenage years. Since then, he has authored various books of poetry, including The Flying Garcias (1991), Rancho Notorious (2001), and The Persistence of Objects (2006). Garcia’s most recent work is a chapbook of prose poems entitled Chickenhead (2009).
Praised by Nobel Prize Winner Octavio Paz for his “emotion…verbal economy [and] tone (the . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Fall, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Music, Love


Poetic Terms Sonnet

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.