Wednesday Night Poetry Series

since 1995

July 11th – Stanley Kunitz Night

This week will be a Favorite Poets night, focusing on the work of Stanley Kunitz. Derek will host; doors at 7, sign up at 715. One of Kunitz’s poems is below:

The Thing That Eats the Heart


The thing that eats the heart comes wild with years.
It died last night, or was it wounds before,
But somehow crawls around, inflamed with need,
Jingling its medals at the fang-scratched door.

We were not unprepared: with lamp and book
We sought the wisdom of another age
Until we heard the action of the bolt.
A little wind investigates the page.

No use pretending to the pitch of sleep;
By turnings we are known, our times and dates
Examined in the courts of either/or
While armless griefs mount lewd and headless doubts.

It pounces in the dark, all pity-ripe,
An enemy as soft as tears or cancer,
In whose embrace we fall, as to a sickness
Whose toxins in our cells cry sin and danger.

Hero of crossroads, how shall we defend
This creature-lump whose charity is art
When its own self turns Christian-cannibal?
The thing that eats the heart is mostly heart.

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May 20, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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