Sylvia

By Gerald Stern b. 1925 Gerald Stern
Across a space peopled with stars I am
laughing while my sides ache for existence
it turns out is profound though the profound
because of time it turns out is an illusion
and all of this is infinitely improbable
given the space, for which I gratefully lie
in three feet of snow making a shallow grave
I would have called an angel otherwise and
think of my own rapturous escape from
living only as dust and dirt, little sister.

Gerald Stern, "Sylvia" from Everything is Burning. Copyright © 2005 by Gerald Stern. Used by permission of the author and W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Source: Everything is Burning (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2005)

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Poet Gerald Stern b. 1925

Subjects Living, Youth, Nature, Winter, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy

 Gerald  Stern

Biography

Gerald Stern has been called an “American original,” “a sometimes comic, sometimes tragic visionary,” and, by his friend Stanley Kunitz, “the wilderness in American poetry.” Over dozens of books, and decades of teaching and activism, Stern has emerged as one of America’s most celebrated and irascible poets. “If I could choose one poem of mine to explain my stance,” Stern told Contemporary Poets, “it would be ‘The One Thing in . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Youth, Nature, Winter, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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