Night After Night, My Love, I Put To Sea

I recently read Richard Wilbur’s latest collection. Anterooms. He is truly one of the great American poets.

The House

Sometimes, on waking, she would close her eyes
For a last look at that white house she knew
In sleep alone, and held no title to,
And had not entered yet, for all her sighs.

What did she tell me of that house of hers?
White gatepost; terrace; fanlight of the door;
A widow’s walk above the bouldered shore;
Salt winds that ruffle the surrounding firs.

Is she now there, wherever there may be?
Only a foolish man would hope to find
That haven fashioned by her dreaming mind.
Night after night, my love, I put to sea.

––Richard Wilbur

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2 Replies to “Night After Night, My Love, I Put To Sea”

  1. Wilbur is an inspiration and I return to The House often, to its unfailing beauty.. Some years ago it inspired the following poem in me.

    Only She
    I have learned late in life that some people are made for tragedy.
    Not that more tragedy befalls them than others;
    There is quite enough tragedy to go around.
    No, it is simply that their antenna are better tuned to that station,
    And that station is broadcasting the news day and night.
    I picked up an old magazine,
    Forgotten under the pile and read a review of an old play.
    –not the play, the review-
    And wept.
    A fiction, of a fiction,
    A character representing someone who never existed.
    To weep for this person?
    Was my heart broken in advance and searching for the reason?
    What is it that I have lost and that I look for in other tragedies?
    “The best of all possible worlds.” I always say,
    And then tears.
    I tell you; only the face of the beloved,
    Only her face remembered,
    Only she,
    Only.

    S. Minasian 2015

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