Antique

By Robert Pinsky b. 1940 Robert Pinsky
I drowned in the fire of having you, I burned
In the river of not having you, we lived
Together for hours in a house of a thousand rooms
And we were parted for a thousand years.
Ten minutes ago we raised our children who cover
The earth and have forgotten that we existed.
It was not maya, it was not a ladder to perfection,
It was this cold sunlight falling on this warm earth.

When I turned you went to Hell. When your ship
Fled the battle I followed you and lost the world
Without regret but with stormy recriminations.
Someday far down that corridor of horror the future
Someone who buys this picture of you for the frame
At a stall in a dwindled city will study your face
And decide to harbor it for a little while longer
From the waters of anonymity, the acids of breath.


Robert Pinsky, "Antique" from Gulf Music. Copyright © 2006 by Robert Pinsky. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC, www.fsgbooks.com. All rights reserved.

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Source: Gulf Music (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007)

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Poet Robert Pinsky b. 1940

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Living, Growing Old, Time & Brevity, Love, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Robert  Pinsky

Biography

Robert Pinsky is one of America’s foremost poet-critics. Often called the last of the “civic” or public poets, Pinsky’s criticism and verse reflect his concern for a contemporary poetic diction that nonetheless speaks of a wider experience. Elected Poet Laureate of the United States in 1997, his tenure was marked by ambitious efforts to prove the power of poetry—not just as an intellectual pursuit in the ivory tower, but as a . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Growing Old, Time & Brevity, Love, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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