By Gerald Stern b. 1925 Gerald Stern
How dumb he was to wipe the blood from his eye
where he was sucker-punched and stagger out
onto the Plaza blind. He had been waiting
all night for the acorn moon and eating pineapple
topping over his ice cream and arguing
either physics or philosophy. He thinks,
at this late date, it was the cave again
throwing a shadow, although it may have been
only some way of reconciling the two
oblivious worlds, which was his mission anyhow—
if only there was a second moon. He had a
kind of beard and though he could practically lift
the front end of a car and was already
reading Blake, he had never yet tasted honey.

Source: Poetry (March 2010).


This poem originally appeared in the March 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

March 2010
 Gerald  Stern


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, Coming of Age, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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