Three Poems

By Franz Wright

Homage to Bacovia

Which shoes should I wear underground
will a tie be required
where I’m going will I see
all of my old fallen friends

all the forgotten betrayed
will they turn for a moment and gaze at me
smiling shyly

Will I get to see the long
indeed from where I stand the endless banquet
table where the murdered sit
beside their quiet more unhappy

and somewhat neater dates
the executed
will they turn for a moment
their heads

those with heads

and stare at me
shyly and strangely
rebuke me—


Für Elizabeth

Say I was one naked blind man carrying
this infinite blue mountain on my back,
and all I might have done for love’s sake,
and my best words, written in sleep and forgotten.
Now I have laid them down.



What is the meaning of kindness?
Speak and listen to others from now on
as if they had recently died.
At the core the seen and unseen worlds are one.

Franz Wright’s most recent book is God’s Silence. Earlier Poems will be published by Knopf in May 2007.

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