We are honored to have published the poetry of Harvey Shapiro, who recently passed at the age of 88. Read the full obituary, from the New York Times, here.
We are like inhabitants
of a southern river town
gathering summer evenings by the water.
A flock of bridges greet us
and the stone hunks of Manhattan.
The power of redemptive love, like
New Jersey red, has gone into the clouds.
Everyone must feel it.
In the war in which I fought
not all my actions were heroic.
I remember particularly the time
I bargained with God—the plane
seemed to be going down,
smoke filled the cabin—
if he would only get me out alive,
I would … What was my promise,
my heartfelt vow? Tears in my eyes,
probably, and trembling. I might
have been speaking to a woman.
Just family trouble, said Lear,
and what’s new with you?
After my death, my desk,
which is now so cluttered
will be bare wood, simple and shining,
as I wanted it to be in my life,
as I wanted my life to be.