Living Things

by Anne Porter

Our poems

Are like the wart-hogs

In the zoo

It's hard to say

Why there should be such creatures

But once our life gets into them

As sometimes happens

Our poems

Turn into living things

And there's no arguing

With living things

They are

The way they are

Our poems

May be rough

Or delicate


Or great

But always

They have inside them

A confluence of cries

And secret languages

And always

They are improvident

And free

They keep

A kind of Sabbath

They play

On sooty fire escapes

And window ledges

They wander in and out

Of jails and gardens

They sparkle

In the deep mines

They sing

In breaking waves

And rock like wooden cradles.


  1. Oh, that is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I had that book as a child! I remember that cover. It was a huge book. Thanks for reminding me of it.


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