By Mark Doty

ISBN-10: 0061967866

ISBN-13: 9780061967863

The poignant, finished new number of poetry from the writer of My Alexandria--1993 winner of the nationwide publication Critics Circle Award, la occasions booklet Award, 1993 nationwide booklet Award Finalist.

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15 All My Youth Returns ◆ You are the comfort of my soul in the season of sorrow. You are the wealth of my spirit in the heartbreak of loss. The unimaginable, The unknowable— That is what you give my soul when it moves in your direction. By your grace my eyes have looked upon eternity. O King, how could this crumbling empire ever take me from you? The voice that sings your name is sweeter than midnight sleep more graceful than the song of a royal poet. When deep in prayer my faith is bound by the thought of you, not the seven verses of faith.

Like the wick of a melting candle— O Beloved, be like that to me. Now that we’ve joined the path of love we cannot sleep at night. At the drunken tavern, the drummer beats the drum— O Beloved, be like that to me. The night is dark, the lovers are awake. Don’t bother them with thoughts of sleep. They want only to be here with us— O Beloved, be like that to me. Union is a raging river running toward the sea. Tonight the moon kisses the stars, Majnun becomes Layla— O Beloved, be like that to me. 26 God has become everything.

A Sufi, shimmering with light, wants to dance like a sunbeam when darkness surrounds him. O God—you are the graceful and the beautiful, you are the highest love, you are the giver of life. What misery and hardship comes to those who turn away from you! O bird, fly back to your native land. You have broken free from your cage; Your wings are eager for flight. Fly from the brackish puddle toward the flowing waters of life! Leave the room where they put the dirty sandals and return to the royal seat of the soul!

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Atlantis by Mark Doty


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