Lifesaving Poems: Charles Wright’s ‘After Reading Tu Fu, I Go Outside to the Dwarf Orchard’

Anthony Wilson

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After Reading Tu Fu, I Go Outside to the Dwarf Orchard

East of me, west of me, full summer.
How deeper than elsewhere the dusk is in your own yard.
Birds fly back and forth across the lawn
looking for home
As night drifts up like a little boat.

Day after day, I become of less use to myself.
Like this mockingbird,
I flit from one thing to the next.
What do I have to look forward to at fifty-four?
Tomorrow is dark.
Day-after-tomorrow is darker still.

The sky dogs are whimpering.
Fireflies are dragging the hush of evening
up from the damp grass.
Into the world’s tumult, into the chaos of every day,
Go quietly, quietly.

Charles Wright

I first came across this poem via the Poets.org website just after I started blogging on Posterous, around 2010. I did not know what I was doing, but had learned enough…

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