Lay these words into the dead man's grave next to the almonds and black cherries--- tiny skulls and flowering blood-drops, eyes, and Thou, O bitterness that pillows his head. Lay these words on the dead man's eyelids like eyebrights, like medieval trumpet flowers that will flourish, this time, in the shade. Let
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A Greek Island
Traveling over your body I found
The failing olive and the cajoling flute,
Where I knelt down, as if in prayer,
And sucked a moist pit
From the marl
Of the earth in a sacred cove.
You gave yourself to the god who comes,
The liberator of the loud shout,
While I fell into a trance,
Blood on my lips,
And stumbled into a temple on top
Of a hill at the bottom of the sky.
Born in Chicago on January 20, 1950, Edward Hirsch is a poet and literary advocate. His second collection, Wild Gratitude (Knopf, 1986), received the National Book Critics Circle Award.