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About this poet

Rose Styron is the author of four poetry collections: Fierce Day (Friesen Press, 2015), By Vineyard Light (Rizzoli, 1995), Thieves' Afternoons (Viking, 1973), and From Summer to Summer (Viking, 1965). She has written introductions to Letters to My Father (Lousiana State University Press, 2009), a collection of letters written by her husband, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer William Styron, to his father, and The Selected Letters of William Styron (Random House, 2012), which she edited. Also a human rights activist, Styron has traveled widely for Amnesty International and other human rights organizations. She lives on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.

Goodnight, Great Summer Sky

Goodnight, great summer sky
world of my childhood and the star-struck sea.

White chaise from that ancestral southern
porch my raft,
white goose-down quilt my ballast,
under Orion on the green-waved lawn
I float, high—
new moon, old craft
tide strong as ever to the sheer horizon.

Over the seawall, on the dock
Andromeda their strict and jeweled guard
as tall Orion—seas and lawns ago—
chose to be mine,
our children sleep: Alexandra, Tom
under their folded goose-wing sails
true friends in dream,
the folly wrangle of their sibling day
outshone by starlight.

Calm island evening, never-ending sea—
our lovers’ rages, too, are quiet,
drowned.

Miracle of midsummer, the trust of dark
sails us beyond this harbor.

Copyright © 1995 by Rose Styron. “Goodnight, Great Summer Sky” was originally published in By Vineyard Light (Rizzoli International Publications, 1995). Reprinted with permission of the author.

Copyright © 1995 by Rose Styron. “Goodnight, Great Summer Sky” was originally published in By Vineyard Light (Rizzoli International Publications, 1995). Reprinted with permission of the author.

Rose Styron

Rose Styron is the author of four poetry collections: Fierce Day (Friesen Press, 2015), By Vineyard Light (Rizzoli, 1995), Thieves' Afternoons (Viking, 1973), and From Summer to Summer (Viking, 1965). She has written introductions to Letters to My Father (Lousiana State University Press, 2009), a collection of letters written by her husband, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer William Styron, to his father, and The Selected Letters of William Styron (Random House, 2012), which she edited.

by this poet

poem

No one’s awake
but us, and a bird.
The day’s too beautiful
to speak a word.

poem
The world tonight is clear,
if only for an hour

Orion's belt encircling us,
the far indigo ocean
thundering near

and I remember
rain the alley
no shortcut home.
poem
Valentine's Day,
our first apart.
Are you not coming back?
Where do I put this paper heart?

The snow, the sleet last night
this morning's year
whites-out out world.
They said you'd reappear

once I let you go
got rid of history's mess
(the noise, the clutter I created)
said you'd return to bless

a quiet life