By Peter Boyle b. 1951 Peter Boyle
Laid out flat
in the back of the station wagon my father borrowed
I look up:
the leaves are immense,
green and golden with clear summer light
breaking through –
though I turn only my neck
I can see all of them
along this avenue that has no limits.
What does it matter
that I am only eyes
if I am to be carried
so lightly
under the trees of the world?
From beyond the numbness of my strange body
the wealth of the leaves
falls forever
into my small still watching.

Peter Boyle, “Paralysis” text from Coming Home from the World, Five Islands Press, 1994; audio from The Transformation Boat, Audio CD, River Road Press, 2008: by permission of River Road Press and the poet. Copyright © 1994, 2008 by Peter Boyle.

Source: The Transformation Boat (River Road Press, 2008)

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Poet Peter Boyle b. 1951

POET’S REGION Australia and Pacific

Subjects The Body, Nature

Poetic Terms Free Verse


A translator and teacher, Peter Boyle was born in Melbourne, Australia, and grew up in Sydney. He started writing poetry in his teens, in part, he has said in interviews, as a way to grapple with the effects of childhood polio. He earned an honours degree in English from Sydney University, a Diploma of Education, and an MA in Spanish and Latin American Studies. He is the author of the poetry collections Coming home from the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT The Body, Nature

POET’S REGION Australia and Pacific

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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