National Poetry Month: April 15th

Swimming By Night by James Merrill

A light going out in the forehead
Of the house by the ocean,
Into warm black its feints of diamond fade.
Without clothes, without caution

Plunging past gravity–
Wait! Where before
Had been floating nothing, is a gradual body
Half remembered, astral with phosphor,

Yours, risen from its tomb
In your own mind,
Haunting nimbleness, glimmerings a random
Spell had kindled. So that, new-limned

By this weak lamp
The evening’s alcohol will feed
Until the genie chilling bids you limp
Heavily over the stones to bed,

You wear your master’s robe
One last time, the far break
Of waves, their length and sparkle, the spinning globe
You wear, and the star running down his cheek.

late night swim

This poem was selected by Russell J. (Adult Services Librarian)

Poetry Copyright Notice

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