Mark Irwin

April 25, 2020 Irwin Mark



Yes, all things of water and our days rounded with light, yes,

on that small island with its one

mountain we would climb toward traces of snow, or walk down toward the ocean, yes,

and that we found shells from long ago buried in the snow tells us that our

dream is real, and that in sleep we still feel Pangaea pulling apart within our bodies,

their quaking when we touch one another and the snow melts in spring, polishing

the green, as we remember our decision not to have children, and how sometimes that makes

our paintings and words more moving, especially in high summer

when the deer turn ruddy in their sleek coats and call from the high meadow,

for it is then that we discover new yellows and change nouns to verbs

while bees swarm the dogwoods, and in our age, we forget our

age, and that forgetfulness is our redemption for living.

Mark Irwin’s thirteen collections of poetry include Once When Green (Juniper Prize for Poetry, 2025), Joyful Orphan (2023), Shimmer (2020) Philip Levine Prize for Poetry, American UrnNew & Selected Poems (1987- 2014), Tall If (2009), and Bright Hunger (2004). He recently completed a long translation project entitled Zanzibar: Selected Poems & Letters of Arthur Rimbaud, with an afterword by Alain Borer.