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Any Night Analysis

Author: Poetry of Philip Levine Type: Poetry Views: 129

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Look, the eucalyptus, the Atlas pine,the yellowing ash, all the treesare gone, and I was older thanall of them. I am older than the moon,than the stars that fill my plate,than the unseen planets that huddletogether here at the end of a yearno one wanted. A year more than a year,in which the sparrows learnedto fly backwards into eternity.Their brothers and sisters saw thisand refuse to build nests. Beforethe week is over they will allhave gone, and the chorus of lovethat filled my yard and spilledinto my kitchen each eveningwill be gone. I will have to learnto sing in the voices of pure joyand pure pain. I will have to forgetmy name, my childhood, the yearsunder the cold dominion of the clockso that this voice, torn and cracked,can reach the low hills that shieldedthe orange trees once. I will standon the back porch as the colddrifts in, and sing, not for joy,not for love, not even to be heard.I will sing so that the darknesscan take hold and whateveris left, the fallen fruit, the lastleaf, the puzzled squirrel, the childfar from home, lost, will believethis could be any night. That boy,walking alone, thinking of nothingor reciting his favorite namesto the moon and stars, let himfind the home he left this morning,let him hear a prayer outof the raging mouth of the wind.Let him repeat that prayer,the prayer that night follows day,that life follows death, that in timewe find our lives. Don't let him seeall that has gone. Let him lovethe darkness. Look, he's runningand singing too. He could be happy.


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