This Ecstasy

By Chard DeNiord Chard DeNiord
It’s not paradise I’m looking for
but the naming I hardly gave a thought to.
Call it the gift I carried in my loneliness
among the animals before I started
listening to the news. Call it the hint
I had about the knowledge that would explode.
In the meantime, which is real time
plus the past, you’re swishing your skirt
and speaking French, which is more
than I can take, which I marvel at
like a boy from the most distant seat
in the Kronos Dome, where I am one
of so many now I see the point
of falling off. There’s not enough seats
for us all to attend the eschaton.
This ecstasy that plants beauty
on my tongue, so that if it were
a wing, I’d be flying with the quickness
of a hummingbird and grace of a heron,
is so much mercy in light of the darkness
that comes. Who would say consolation?
Who would say dross? Not that anyone
would blame them. All night I hear
so many echoes in the forest I’m tempted
to look back, to save myself in hindsight,
where all I see is the absence of me.
Where all I hear is your voice,
which couldn’t be more strange.
How to go on walking hand in hand
without our bodies on the path
we made for our feet, talking, talking?

Chard deNiord, “This Ecstacy” from The Double Truth. Copyright © 2011 by Chard deNiord. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Source: The Double Truth (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011)

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Poet Chard DeNiord

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Living, The Mind, Nature, Religion, The Spiritual, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

Poetic Terms Free Verse


Chard deNiord earned a BA in religious studies from Lynchburg College, a Masters of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. A cofounder of the New England College MFA program in poetry, he is the author of the poetry collections Asleep in the Fire (1990), Sharp Golden Thorn (2003), Night Mowing (2005), and The Double Truth (2011). His book Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs (2011) . . .

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SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Nature, Religion, The Spiritual, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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