Monday, April 21, 2008

BillyBlog's Favorite Poems, #10 ("After Making Love We Hear Footsteps" by Galway Kinnell)

Well, I seem to have miscalculated. The addition of Max Eberts' poem may have thrown off my pacing, and I am now facing my top 10, with 11 poets to go. Oops. I guess I could go back and strike one of the other poems, but that would just not be in the spirit of National Poetry Month now, would it?

So, 31 it is, which means I either post two on one day or post the last one on May 1. Let's go with one today and make tomorrow a Two-for-Tuesday.

The following poem is from Galway Kinnell. It is much-anthologized and even appears in the same anthology I was published in. That pleased me to be in such great company.

It's a great poem for anyone who has been a parent and has experienced the lack of privacy that a child carries along with them:

After Making Love We Hear Footsteps

For I can snore like a bullhorn

or play loud music

or sit up talking with any reasonably sober Irishman

and Fergus will only sink deeper

into his dreamless sleep, which goes by all in one flash,

but let there be that heavy breathing

or a stifled come-cry anywhere in the house

and he will wrench himself awake

and make for it on the run—as now, we lie together,

after making love, quiet, touching along the length of our bodies,

familiar touch of the long-married,

and he appears—in his baseball pajamas, it happens,

the neck opening so small he has to screw them on—

and flops down between us and hugs us and snuggles himself to sleep,

his face gleaming with satisfaction at being this very child.

In the half darkness we look at each other

and smile

and touch arms across this little, startlingly muscled body—

this one whom habit of memory propels to the ground of his making,

sleeper only the mortal sounds can sing awake,

this blessing love gives again into our arms.

Listen: Galway Kinnell reading "After Making Love, We Hear Footsteps" (m4a)

Previous Favorite Poems for National Poetry Month:

#11 - "Symposium" by Paul Muldoon
#12 - "Poem for the Class of..." by Max Eberts
#13 - "Boss of the Food" by Lois-Ann Yamanaka
#14 - "Lady Lazarus" by Sylvia Plath
#15 - "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop
#16 - "Buddhist Barbie" by Denise Duhamel
#17 - "One Train May Hide Another" by Kenneth Koch
#18 - "Poem (Lana Turner Has Collapsed!) by Frank O'Hara (with Audio)
#19 - "Crumbs" by Hal Sirowitz (Audio Added)
#20 - "This Is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams
#21 - "They Feed They Lion" by Philip Levine
#22 - "Looking at Kilauea" by Garret Hongo
#23 - "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" by Randall Jarrell (Audio Added)
#24 - A Handful of Richard Brautigan
#25 - "A Buddha in the Woodpile" by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
#26 - "Separation" by W.S. Merwin
#27 - "The Flea" by John Donne
#28 - Poem Twenty from Pablo Neruda's Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair
#29 - "Magpie's Song" by Gary Snyder
#30 - "Eunoia" by Christian Bok

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