David Baker

Of Shine
March 8, 2015 Baker David

Of Shine


What makes it
so—this “Shine
of Shining
things”? Not the
big dust-brick
mill turned gen-
trified condo
in the heart
of Olde Towne,
but new snow
pressed into

all its cupped
letters, RED
which the sun
burns, blazes,
melting so
that the i-
cicles hanging
look now like
bright white veins
over the

very bones
of the building.
“Glory,” said
the poet of
it, “made fine
To fill the
Fancy [get
this] peeping
through the Eyes
At Thee.” As,
don’t look; as,

you’ll be blind:
that’s how wild
this shining
living is
that now “all
the wantons”
want to see,
small crowd decked
out in such
as money

makes in these
gray parts, massed
across the avenue
wet with slush,
craning up
where she in
her breasts and
he in his
best “flowing
flakes of bright-

est glories”
[it’s in the
poem] trot
back and forth
before the
wide storage-
window for
all the world
to see, “deckt
up in glory,”


David Baker‘s eighteen books include Swift: New and Selected Poems (W. W. Norton, 2019), Show Me Your Environment: Essays on Poetry, Poets, and Poems (University of Michigan, 2014), and Never-Ending Birds (W. W. Norton), which was awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize in 2011.  He lives in rural Ohio and is Poetry Editor of The Kenyon Review.