Kenneth Koch

(27 February 1925 – 6 July 2002 / Ohio / United States)

To You - Poem by Kenneth Koch

I love you as a sheriff searches for a walnut
That will solve a murder case unsolved for years
Because the murderer left it in the snow beside a window
Through which he saw her head, connecting with
Her shoulders by a neck, and laid a red
Roof in her heart. For this we live a thousand years;
For this we love, and we live because we love, we are not
Inside a bottle, thank goodness! I love you as a
Kid searches for a goat; I am crazier than shirttails
In the wind, when you’re near, a wind that blows from
The big blue sea, so shiny so deep and so unlike us;
I think I am bicycling across an Africa of green and white fields
Always, to be near you, even in my heart
When I’m awake, which swims, and also I believe that you
Are trustworthy as the sidewalk which leads me to
The place where I again think of you, a new
Harmony of thoughts! I love you as the sunlight leads the prow
Of a ship which sails
From Hartford to Miami, and I love you
Best at dawn, when even before I am awake the sun
Receives me in the questions which you always pose.


“To You” from The Collected Poems of Kenneth Koch, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Copyright © 2006 by Kenneth Koch.


Comments about To You by Kenneth Koch

  • Susan Williams Susan Williams (2/13/2016 3:46:00 PM)


    If this poem contained only this line- - I am crazier than shirttails
    In the wind, - - - then it would be worth reading a thousand times. (Report) Reply

    12 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi Louis Edward Kofi Louis (2/13/2016 12:45:00 PM)


    Love is the key! And to think of you. Nice work. (Report) Reply

  • Jerry Buckley (2/10/2012 2:27:00 PM)


    Touching... another gem amond the lumps of coal. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Poem Edited: Tuesday, May 17, 2011


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