an American poet, essayist, literary critic, and translator. From 1997 to 2000, he served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Pinsky is the author of nineteen books, most of which are collections of his own poetry. His published work also includes critically acclaimed translations, including a collection of poems by Czesław Miłosz and Dante Alighieri. He teaches at Boston University and is the poetry editor at Slate.
Robert Pinsky was born on October 20, 1940, in Long Branch, New Jersey, where he attended Long Branch High School. He received a B.A. from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and earned both an M.A. and Ph.D. in ... more »
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Robert Pinsky Poems
Not a "window on the world" But as we call you, A box a tube
Impossible To Tell
Slow dulcimer, gavotte and bow, in autumn, Bashõ and his friends go out to view the moon; In summer, gasoline rainbow in the gutter,
The back, the yoke, the yardage. Lapped seams, The nearly invisible stitches along the collar Turned in a sweatshop by Koreans or Malaysians
Ode To Meaning
Dire one and desired one, Savior, sentencer-- In an old allegory you would carry
At Pleasure Bay
In the willows along the river at Pleasure Bay A catbird singing, never the same phrase twice. Here under the pines a little off the road In 1927 the Chief of Police
The Night Game
Some of us believe We would have conceived romantic Love out of our own passions With no precedents,
". . . our language, forged in the dark bycenturies of violent pressure, underground,out of the stuff of dead life." Thirsty and languorous after their long black sleep
Poem With Refrains
The opening scene. The yellow, coal-fed fog Uncurling over the tainted city river, A young girl rowing and her anxious father Scavenging for corpses. Funeral meats. The clever
A monosyllabic European called Sax Invents a horn, walla whirledy wah, a kind of twisted Brazen clarinet, but with its column of vibrating Air shaped not in a cylinder but in a cone
When I had no roof I made Audacity my roof. When I had No supper my eyes dined.
Ceremony For Any Beginning
Against weather, and the random Harpies—mood, circumstance, the laws Of biography, chance, physics— The unseasonable soul holds forth,
The legendary muscle that wants and grieves, The organ of attachment, the pump of thrills And troubles, clinging in stubborn colonies
Pindar, poet of the victories, fitted names And legends into verses for the chorus to sing: Names recalled now only in the poems of Pindar:
The Green Piano
Aeolian. Gratis. Great thunderer, half-ton infant of miracles Torn free of charge from the universe by my mother's will. You must have amazed that half-respectable street
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
Not a "window on the world"
But as we call you,
A box a tube
Terrarium of dreams and wonders.
Coffer of shades, ordained
Cotillion of phosphors
Or liquid crystal
Homey miracle, tub
Of acquiescence, vein of defiance.
Your patron in the pantheon would be Hermes
Quick one, little thief, escort
Of the dying and comfort of the sick,
In a blue glow my father and little sister sat
Snuggled in one chair watching you
Their wife and mother was sick in the head
I scorned you and them as I scorned so much
Now I like you ...