Elusive, but only sweetened by
Disuse, souls I’d entered once before
Once again trouble the surfaces of life
With their small noises and single color…
Picture the dream before the last dream
Of a troubled night—something like that.
There were no survivors. Afterwards,
I meet them in weak sunlight in a corner
Of urban parkland. Not far away,
There seem to be children emerging
From the waters of an ornamental lake.
Swan-boats lead them off to the horizon.
We are so happy. The sunlight grows weaker.
Reunion shakes the world. Let us speak of it.
Born in The Bronx, New York in 1954, Donald Revell was educated at Harpur College (B.A. 1975) and the University of Buffalo (Ph.D. 1980). He is the author of twelve previous collections of poetry, most recently of Tantivy (2012) and The Bitter Withy (2009), both from Alice James Books. Revell has published six volumes of translations from the French, including Apollinaire’s Alcools (Wesleyan), Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell (Omnidawn), Laforgue’s Last Verses (Omnidawn) and Verlaine’s Songs without Words (Omnidawn). His critical writings have been collected as The Art of Attention (Graywolf) and Invisible Green: Selected Prose (Omnidawn). Winner of the PEN USA Translation Award and two-time winner of the PEN USA Award for Poetry, he has also won the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Prize and is a former Fellow of the Ingram Merrill and Guggenheim Foundations.