1. Home
  2. Poetry Magazine
  3. Poems
  4. The New Optimism by Dean Young
The New Optimism

Related Poem Content Details

The recital of the new optimism
was oft interrupted, rudeness
in the ramparts, an injured raven
that needed attendance, pre-op
nudity. The young who knew everything
was new made babies who unforeseeably
would one day present their complaint.
Enough blame to go around but the new
optimism didn’t stop, helped one
pick up a brush, another a spatula
even as the last polar bear sat
on his shrinking berg thinking,
I have been vicious but my soul is pure.
And the new optimism loves the bear’s
soul and makes images of it to sell
at fair-trade craft fairs with laboriously
knotted hunks of rope, photos of cheese,
soaps with odd ingredients, whiskey,
sand, hamburger drippings, lint,
any and everything partaking of the glowing
exfoliating cleanup. And the seal
is sponged of oil spill. And the broken
man is wheeled in a meal. War finally
seems stupid enough. You look an animal
in the eye before eating it and the gloomy
weather makes the lilacs grow. Hello,
oceans of air. Your dead cat loves you
forever and will welcome you forever home.



Source: Poetry (October 2010)

More from this issue

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

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

The New Optimism

Related Poem Content Details

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

Other Information