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Annie Finch

Elegy For My Father

HLF, August 8,1918—August 22,1997

“Bequeath us to no earthly shore until
Is answered in the vortex of our grave
The seal’s wide spindrift gaze towards paradise.”
—Hart Crane, “Voyages”

“If a lion could talk, we couldn’t understand it”
—Ludwig Wittgenstein


Under the ocean that stretches out wordlessly
past the long edge of the last human shore,
there are deep windows the waves haven't opened,
where night is reflected through decades of glass.
There is the nursery, there is the nanny,
there are my father’s unreachable eyes
turned towards the window. Is the child uneasy?
His is the death that is circling the stars.

[...] Read more

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