Earth Tremors Felt in Missouri

Mona Van Duyn

 
The quake last night was nothing personal,
you told me this morning. I think one always wonders,
unless, of course, something is visible: tremors
that take us, private and willy-nilly, are usual.
But the earth said last night that what I feel,
you feel; what secretly moves you, moves me.
One small, sensuous catastrophe
makes inklings letters, spelled in a worldly tremble.
The earth, with others on it, turns in its course
as we turn toward each other, less than ourselves, gross,
mindless, more than we were. Pebbles, we swell
to planets, nearing the universal roll,
in our conceit even comprehending the sun,
whose bright ordeal leaves cool men woebegone.
 
Excerpted from Selected Poems by Mona Van Duyn. Copyright © 2002 by Mona Van Duyn. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Poems by This Author

Endings by Mona Van Duyn
Setting the V.C.R. when we go to bed
Letters from a Father by Mona Van Duyn
Ulcerated tooth keeps me awake, there is


Further Reading

Poems for Anniversaries
A Man Meets a Woman in the Street
by Randall Jarrell
Couple Sharing a Peach
by Molly Peacock
Francesco and Clare
by David St. John
I Married You
by Linda Pastan
Let Me Disappear
by Ray Gonzalez
Looking Back in My Eighty-First Year
by Maxine Kumin
Man and Wife
by Robert Lowell
My Wife
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Orpheus
by Robert Kelly
The Anniversary
by John Donne
The Anniversary
by Elaine Terranova
The Elephant is Slow to Mate
by D.H. Lawrence
The Storm
by Theodore Roethke
The Sympathies of the Long Married
by Robert Bly
To My Dear and Loving Husband
by Anne Bradstreet