Learn More

Howard Nemerov

(29 February 1920 – 5 July 1991 / New York City, New York)

Insomnia I


Some nights it's bound to be your best way out,
When nightmare is the short end of the stick,
When sleep is a part of town where it's not safe
To walk at night, when waking is the only way
You have of distancing your wretched dead,
A growing crowd, and escaping out of their
Time into yours for another little while;

Then pass ghostly, a planet in the house
Never observed, among the sleeping rooms
Where children dream themselves, and thence go down
Into the empty domain where daylight reigned;
Reward yourself with drink and a book to read,
A mystery, for its elusive gift
Of reassurance against the hour of death.
Order your heart about: Stop doing that!
And get the world to be secular again.

Then, when you know who done it, turn out the light,
And quietly in darkness, in moonlight, or snowlight
Reflective, listen to the whistling earth
In its backspin trajectory around the sun
That makes the planets sometimes retrograde
And brings the cold forgiveness of the dawn
Whose light extinguishes all stars but one.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: sometimes, house, children, dream, sleep, light, death, sun, world, night, time, heart, child, star

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Insomnia I by Howard Nemerov )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  4. I Am the Only Being Whose Doom, Emily Jane Brontë
  5. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  6. If, Rudyard Kipling
  7. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  8. A Smile To Remember, Charles Bukowski
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  10. Acquainted with the Night, Robert Frost

Poem of the Day

poet Emily Jane Brontë

I am the only being whose doom
No tongue would ask no eye would mourn
I never caused a thought of gloom
A smile of joy since I was born

In secret pleasure - secret tears
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]