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Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication. For more information about how to syndicate Poem-a-Day, contact poem-a-day@poets.org.

Going Back

About this Poem 

“Going Back” was published in Bay (Beaumont Press, 1919). 

Going Back

The night turns slowly round,
Swift trains go by in a rush of light;
Slow trains steal past.
This train beats anxiously, outward bound.

But I am not here.
I am away, beyond the scope of this turning;
There, where the pivot is, the axis
Of all this gear.

I, who sit in tears,
I, whose heart is torn with parting;
Who cannot bear to think back to the departure platform;
My spirit hears

Voices of men
Sound of artillery, aeroplanes, presences,
And more than all, the dead-sure silence,
The pivot again.

There, at the axis
Pain, or love, or grief
Sleep on speed; in dead certainty;
Pure relief.

There, at the pivot
Time sleeps again.
No has-been, no here-after; only the perfected
Silence of men.

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

previous poems

datesort ascending title author
February 01, 2017 C.R.E.A.M. Danez Smith
January 31, 2017 Spaces Jenny Johnson
January 30, 2017 Beginners Michael Klein
January 29, 2017 Love Rupert Brooke
January 28, 2017 Alas Walter de la Mare
January 27, 2017 Heavy Hieu Minh Nguyen
January 26, 2017 Elegy for a Year Joseph Fasano
January 25, 2017 Children of Aleppo Chard deNiord
January 24, 2017 Sea Garden Rosamond S. King
January 23, 2017 Who Makes Love to Us After We Die Diana Marie Delgado