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Owens, Elisabeth, R. (ed.) / Encore: more of parallel press poets
(2006)

Garland, Max, 1954-
Homer,   pp. 34-35


Page 34

 
Homer 
The dark goes haywire, streaks 
of underlit clouds everywhere in the east. 
It's a dull town, but morning doesn't mind, 
the sun still barely tucked in the pocket 
of pre-dawn-and these long lit clouds? 
Homer, who was blind, called them rose-fingered. 
To me they're that corny shade of pink 
Vasari used to paint the heavens of the holy rich. 
On the other hand, light as a hand 
is what Homer implied, 
that the day reaches 
up into the dark, finger at a time, 
though he couldn't have seen it- 
the stroke of early light across the face, 
the bark of the gull ignited- 
he was right about that, and the rose 
was how warm it felt to be that right. 
All poets are blind to the world 
without imagining, might be the point. 
It's physical, this daybreak, long 
lit clouds over the cold town. 
Dawn in the fingers duly writing this down. 
It's so small, that first breach of warm 
on the window, the skin. Finger of dawn, 
and therefore a hand, and therefore 
a body, and therefore a mind 
whose illumined reach is day 
that put out Homer's eye, 
that light might rake the low ledges 
of cloud and gull wing and grace 
the dull town breaking alive. 
Max Garland 
[previously published in Sycamore Review] 
34 


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