44th Birthday Evening, at Harris’s

By Ted Berrigan 1934–1983 Ted Berrigan
Nine stories high Second Avenue
On the roof there’s a party
All the friends are there watching
By the light of the moon the blazing sun
Go down over the side of the planet
To light up the underside of Earth
There are long bent telescopes for the friends
To watch this through. The friends are all in shadow.
I can see them from my bed inside my head.
44 years I’ve loved these dreams today.
17 years since I wrote for the first time a poem
On my birthday, why did I wait so long?
                                                                         my land a good land
its highways go to many good places where
many good people were found; a home land, whose song comes up
from the throat of a hummingbird & it ends
where the sun goes to across the skies of blue.
I live there with you.

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Poet Ted Berrigan 1934–1983

SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School (2nd Generation)

Subjects Living, Birth & Birthdays, Midlife, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Friends & Enemies

Biography

Ted Berrigan—Edmund Joseph Michael Berrigan Jr.—was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the oldest of three children of Margaret Dugan and Edmund Berrigan, the chief engineer at Ward’s Baking Company. On both sides the family was Irish Catholic. Berrigan attended local schools and entered Providence College, a local Catholic school, but left after a year and enlisted in the army.

Berrigan was sent to Korea in 1954 but never saw . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Birth & Birthdays, Midlife, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Friends & Enemies

SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School (2nd Generation)

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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