Heather McHugh (20 August 1948 / San Diego, California)
From the Tower
Insanity is not a want of reason.
It is reason’s overgrowth, a calculating kudzu.
Explaining why, in two-ton manifesti, thinkers sally forth
with testaments and pipe bombs. Heaven help us:
spare us all your meaningful designs. Shine down or
shower forth, but (for the earthling’s sake) ignore
all prayers followed by against, or for. Teach us to bear
life’s senselessness, our insignificance, and more;
let’s call that sanity. The terrifying prospect isn’t some
escapist with old-fangled novels, fond of comfort, munching sweets—
it is the busy hermeneut, so serious
he’s sour, intent on making
meaning of us all, and bursting
from the tower to the street.
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.