Rhymes for a Watertower

By Christian Wiman b. 1966 Christian Wiman
A town so flat a grave's a hill,
            A dusk the color of beer.
A row of schooldesks shadows fill,
            A row of houses near.

A courthouse spreading to its lawn,
            A bank clock's lingering heat.
A gleam of storefronts not quite gone,
            A courthouse in the street.

A different element, almost,
            A dry creek brimming black.
A light to lure the darkness close,
            A light to keep it back.

A time so still a heart's a sound,
            A moon the color of skin.
A pumpjack bowing to the ground,
            Again, again, again.

Christian Wiman, "Rhymes for a Watertower" from Hard Night. Copyright © 2005 by Christian Wiman.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.

Source: Hard Night (Copper Canyon Press, 2005)

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Poet Christian Wiman b. 1966

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

Poetic Terms Common Measure, Rhymed Stanza

 Christian  Wiman


Poet, translator, editor, and essayist Christian Wiman was raised in West Texas and earned a BA at Washington and Lee University. A former Guggenheim fellow, Wiman served as the editor of Poetry magazine from 2003 to 2013. He received an honorary doctorate from North Central College.
Making use of—and at times gently disassembling—musical and metrical structures, Wiman often explores themes of spiritual faith and doubt in his . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Common Measure, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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