Out-of-the-Body Travel

Stanley Plumly

 
 
1
And then he would lift this finest
of furniture to his big left shoulder
and tuck it in and draw the bow
so carefully as to make the music
almost visible on the air. And play
and play until a whole roomful of the sad
relatives mourned. They knew this was
drawing of blood, threading and rethreading
the needle. They saw even in my father's
face how well he understood the pain
he put them to--his raw, red cheek
pressed against the cheek of the wood . . .
 
2
And in one stroke he brings the hammer
down, like mercy, so that the young bull's
legs suddenly fly out from under it . . .
While in the dream he is the good angel
in Chagall, the great ghost of his body
like light over the town. The violin
sustains him. It is pain remembered.
Either way, I know if I wake up cold,
and go out into the clear spring night,
still dark and precise with stars,
I will feel the wind coming down hard
like his hand, in fever, on my forehead.
 
From Out-of-the-Body Travel by Stanley Plumly. Copyright © 1974, 1975, 1976 by Stanley Plumly. Reprinted by permission of The Ecco Press.

Poems by This Author

Constable's Clouds, For Keats by Stanley Plumly
Ground Birds in Open Country by Stanley Plumly
They fly up in front of you so suddenly
Horse in the Cage by Stanley Plumly
Its face, as long as an arm, looks down & down.
In Passing by Stanley Plumly
On the Canadian side, we're standing far enough away
Infidelity by Stanley Plumly
The two-toned Olds swinging sideways out of
Long Companions by Stanley Plumly
Spirit Birds by Stanley Plumly
The spirit world the negative of this one
Wildflower by Stanley Plumly
Some--the ones with fish names--grow so north
Woman on Twenty-Second Eating Berries by Stanley Plumly
She's not angry exactly but all business,


Further Reading

Poems about Hands
A Bird in Hand
by Amber Flora Thomas
A Hand
by Jane Hirshfield
After the Grand Perhaps
by Lucie Brock-Broido
Amaze
by Adelaide Crapsey
Consider the Hands that Write This Letter
by Aracelis Girmay
Hands
by Siv Cedering
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
by E. E. Cummings
Spring is like a perhaps hand
by E. E. Cummings
The Artist's Hand
by D. A. Powell
The Balloon of the Mind
by W. B. Yeats
The Book of the Dead Man (Your Hands)
by Marvin Bell
The Hand
by Mary Ruefle
This Living Hand
by John Keats
To You
by Walt Whitman
Poems about Travel
Don’t Let Me Be Lonely [On the bus two women argue]
by Claudia Rankine
And the Trains Go On
by Philip Levine
Baudelaire in Airports
by Amy King
California Plush
by Frank Bidart
Cattails
by Nikky Finney
Dark Matter
by Jack Myers
Evening Song
by Sherwood Anderson
Flying
by Sarah Arvio
Go Greyhound
by Bob Hicok
I am Raftery the Poet
by Anthony Raftery
Looking for The Gulf Motel
by Richard Blanco
Manifest Destiny
by Cynthia Lowen
Passing Through Albuquerque
by John Balaban
Road Warriors
by Charles Wright
Slow Waltz Through Inflatable Landscape
by Christian Hawkey
Souvenir from Anywhere
by Harryette Mullen
The Bus through Jonesboro, Arkansas
by Matthew Henriksen
The Highwayman
by Alfred Noyes
The Strange Hours Travelers Keep
by August Kleinzahler
The Tinajera Notebook
by Forrest Gander
The Traveling Onion
by Naomi Shihab Nye
Travel
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Travel
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Traveling
by Malena Mörling
Traveling Light
by Linda Pastan
Trip Hop
by Geoffrey Brock
Window
by Carl Sandburg
Window Seat: Providence to New York City
by Jacqueline Osherow