By Glyn Maxwell b. 1962 Glyn Maxwell
Town of a hundred thousand hands
Locks in for snow. The sky goes somehow
Orange and green, orange and green
    As the animals go where animals go:
    Away, behind, due south, below.

Flaring in freshening welcome dusk
Like matches struck the Nativities glow,
Curl in the sight of arriving boy,
    Chorusing parent, mouthing girl,
    Stressed and entire the infant world.

The mirrors are framed with the lights they mirror:
They people and double the rooms with infinite
Manifestations of a bright none other.
    ‘For one to appear!’ cries someone there,
    So close to expecting it, eyes to the air.

Moments when what no longer matters
Is actually Time and incredibly Money
Visit on towns of ten to ten million,
    Swoop like a targeting bird from an eyrie,
    As furiously quickly, as over, as scary.

Who saw it all stamp. Over the writer
Hovers that quiet that started as answer,
Aged to a question, ended as quiet
    But sensed, as the animal everywhere sense
    Sudden distinct, involving events. 

Glyn Maxwell, “Nativity” from The Boys at Twilight: Poems 1990-1995. Copyright © 2000 by Glyn Maxwell. Reprinted by permission of Glyn Maxwell.

Source: The Boys at Twilight: Poems 1990-1995 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000)

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Poet Glyn Maxwell b. 1962


Subjects Nature, Winter, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

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 Glyn  Maxwell


Born in England to Welsh parents, Glyn Maxwell was educated at Oxford University and Boston University, where he studied both poetry and theater with Derek Walcott. This simultaneous training in two disciplines has enabled him to create innovative work across genres. Maxwell has written numerous verse plays as well as long narrative poems. The Sugar Mile (2005), a verse narrative set in a Manhattan bar a few days before . . .

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SUBJECT Nature, Winter, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets


Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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