Jerome Rothenberg

(1931 / New York City, New York)

I Will Not Save the World - Poem by Jerome Rothenberg

I like to cross
these borders. They take place
between the dead & dead.
I make my mind up
to be honest
only I fail to meet
their expectations.
I will not save the world.
The power in my blood
runs through my shoe.
I have never known fatigue
but know it now. I whistle
& the dog sits still
& ponders.
Nobody else is resting
or in love.
The taste of death is in my mouth.
I suck it like an arm
until it breaks me.
It is the fate of animals
& birds
the small lives left behind.
The children in the woods
run by like children.
I hide under a blanket
sick with counting.
Two & two are five
but two times two
is always four.
Call me tomorrow
—says the voice—
& I will call you back.
I am a net for all
voracious fish (E. Södergran)
& long for hell.


Comments about I Will Not Save the World by Jerome Rothenberg

  • Ratnakar Mandlik (6/22/2016 11:09:00 PM)

    A thoughtfully envisioned song of life depicting it's darker side. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Kevin Patrick (6/22/2016 3:26:00 PM)

    Beautiful free form structure, you can read the fatigue sweating from his mouth, the tiredness of a prolonged life, who needs the world on their back anyway. (Report) Reply

  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (6/22/2016 10:16:00 AM)

    A different idea about life it seems and likes the poem (Report) Reply

  • Frank Blacharczyk Frank Blacharczyk (6/22/2016 9:03:00 AM)

    Funny or ironic how life changes and sometimes not the way we like it. I like the lines 'I have never known fatigue
    but know it now. I whistle & the dog sits still & ponders. ' (Report) Reply

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra Subhas Chandra Chakra (6/22/2016 5:40:00 AM)

    The power in my blood
    runs through my shoe.
    I have never known fatigue
    but know it now. I whistle
    & the dog sits still
    & ponders.
    Nobody else is resting
    or in love.
    The taste of death is in my mouth.
    I suck it like an arm
    until it breaks me.
    It is the fate of animals
    & birds
    the small lives left behind.
    A very beautiful and worthy poem to be awarded.
    Thanks for sharing it. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis Edward Kofi Louis (6/22/2016 3:40:00 AM)

    The taste of death is in my mouth! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Tapan M. Saren Tapan M. Saren (6/22/2016 1:48:00 AM)

    a very good poem indeed...... (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Friday, May 6, 2016

Poem Edited: Friday, May 6, 2016


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