Plainsong

by Jared Carter


I think of voices when I see them shine
all cold and glittering against the night.
Theirs is a solitude that speaks to mine

without demand, that sings but to remind,
and shapes the crucible with endless light.
I think of voices when I see them shine;

drawn from diurnal cares, I would combine
to form a single note within their flight.
Theirs is a solitude that speaks to mine:

I dream response, but intervening time
and space imprison me, and blunt my sight.
I think of voices when I see them shine,

I listen till at last I am defined
by music only, not by earthly plight.
Theirs is a solitude that speaks to mine

not with things known, but with the byzantine
and fragile eye of beauty. Mortal, slight,
I think of voices when I see them shine;
theirs is a solitude that speaks to mine.


First published in Janus.
Copyright © 1997, Jared Carter

Open Cluster M103

Open Cluster M103


Jared Carterís poems have appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, The Nation, The Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, and other magazines. He has published three collections of poetry with the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. Information about his work may be found on his web site. An additional selection of his poems appears at PoetryX.

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Atlas Image obtained as part of the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation