Lost to View

By Stephen Edgar b. 1951 Stephen Edgar
A range of clouds banked up behind the peak
Of that apocryphal
Blue mountain, with a wide, oblique
Burst of late sun
Projecting at the east’s receding wall

A film of what the day so far has done:
A wind that tries to scrape
The breaking waves up as they run
Across the bay
And shatter at the foot of Fluted Cape

In tern and gannet-printed veils of spray;
And trees the wind has caught,
Which seem too self-contained to sway
When they are blown,
And only move as a pleasing afterthought.

No one. No human presence has been known,
Surely, to venture here.
It takes one blackbird to disown
That vagary
And, whistling just a few feet from his ear,

To call him back again and make him be
The subject in this scene,
The one who is required to see.
Another day,
No blackbird with its song will intervene.

The spray will hang its veils and the trees sway.

Source: Poetry (January 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2012
 Stephen  Edgar


Stephen Edgar was born in Sydney, Australia. He studied classics and English at the University of Tasmania and has worked as an editor and a librarian. He is the author of the poetry collections Queuing for the Mudd Club (1985), Ancient Music (1988), Corrupted Treasures (1995), Where the Trees Were (1999), Lost in the Foreground (2003), Other Summers (2006), and History of the Day (2009).   A lyric formalist, Edgar probes the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Animals, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

POET’S REGION Australia and Pacific

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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